Research Overview

The Neuroepidemiology Unit (NEU) at the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics was formed in 2015, building on the international profile in multiple sclerosis (MS) prevention of its former head, Professor George Jelinek. The NEU is headed by A/Prof Sandra Neate and has developed novel methods of accessing unique preventive medicine data from large communities of people with MS. It leads research into the potential for lifestyle-based preventive medicine approaches to reducing the disease burden of MS nationally and internationally.

The NEU conducts a number of studies related to primary and secondary prevention of MS. These include:

  • The UK Multiple Sclerosis Register Project: utilising the UK MS Register of over 3000 people with MS in the United Kingdom. The register contains sociodemographic, health and clinical data and we are conducting a prospective study of the impact of diet quality on patient reported and clinical health outcomes.
  • The Multiple Sclerosis Online Course Randomised Controlled Trial: we developed an online educational intervention for people with MS, using the best available evidence regarding lifestyle modification and health outcomes. To test the intervention we have conducted a randomised controlled trial of over 600 people to determine whether completing the course affects health outcomes in people with MS. Qualitative studies within this project have examined the experiences and outcomes of people undertaking the course.
  • The HOLISM Study (Health Outcomes and Lifestyle In a Sample of people with MS) is a longitudinal study of around 2,500 people with MS from 57 countries, followed up at 2.5 yearly intervals from baseline in 2012.
  • The STOP-MS Study (Studying Outcomes Of People attending MS programs) following several hundred people with MS who have attended residential community education programs on MS prevention at 1, 3, 5 and 10 years from attendance, including examination of the lifestyle behaviours of a subset of that group.

The NEU is a multidisciplinary team of health researchers. You can find out more about our team here.

Student projects
Please contact A/Prof Sandra Neate, Dr Nupur Nag and Dr Steve Simpson-Yap and Dr Jeanette Reece to discuss available projects.
Many projects on offer, including
1.Prospective relationships of lifestyle behaviours and health outcomes
2.Longitudinal trajectories of health and clinical outcomes

Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics contact details
Level 3, 207 Bouverie Street
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
The University of Melbourne
Victoria, 3010, Australia
Tel: +61 3 8344 0637


Dr Sandra Neate (Unit Head)

Dr Nupur Nag(Unit Deputy Head)

Dr Steve Simpson-Yap

Dr Jeanette Reece

Maggie Yu

Mr William Bevens

Mr Xin Lin

Honorary Staff

Professor George Jelinek (Honorary)

Dr Keryn Taylor (Honorary)

Dr Alysha De Livera (Honorary)

Dr Pia Jelinek (Honorary)


The NEU is funded largely by philanthropic donations with the support of competitive grant funding.