Professor Richards did her undergraduate degree at Monash University and obtained her BSc (Hons) and a PhD from The University of Melbourne and The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in the laboratory of Professor Perry Bartlett. Her thesis was on the determination of neuronal lineage in the developing spinal cord. She then moved to the USA to complete a postdoctoral fellowship at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies where she worked with Professor Dennis O’Leary on cortical development and formation of the lateral cortical projection through the internal capsule. She began her independent laboratory at The University of Maryland Medical School in 1997, in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology chaired by Professor Michael Shipley.
In 2005 she moved her laboratory to The University of Queensland and was appointed as an Associate Professor in the Queensland Brain Institute and The School of Biomedical Sciences and the following year she was appointed as an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow. She was promoted in 2010 to a Professor at The University of Queensland and became a NHMRC Principal Research Fellow in 2011. In 2015 Professor Richards was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and became President-elect of the Australian Neuroscience Society. She is currently a Professor and Deputy Director of the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland.
Recently Professor Richards has established an International Research Consortium for Corpus Callosum and Cerebral Connectivity (IRC5). This international consortium is specifically focused on malformations of the corpus callosum, with pooled data from labs in Australia, USA, Europe, and Brazil. She is a scientific advisor for the patient support group, “Australian Disorders of the Corpus Callosum" (ausDoCC) and has established an Australian database of people with malformations of the corpus callosum.
In addition to running her laboratory, Professor Richards is passionate about informing the public about science. She founded the Australian Brain Bee Challenge in 2006, a program that inspires and excites high school students about science.
Professor Richards' laboratory investigates how the brain becomes wired up during development. The lab is focusing on the development of the cerebral cortex, a region of the brain where all higher order cognition is processed. The lab investigates the development of the largest fibre tract in the brain, called the corpus callosum, that connects neurons in the left and right cerebral hemispheres. Professor Richards' lab is interested in the development of the cortical midline and aspects of glial and neuronal development that impact the formation of midline structures such as the corpus callosum. The lab utilises both mouse and human tissue in its projects and applies the results to identifying the basis of agenesis of the corpus callosum, a condition that occurs in more than 50 different human congenital syndromes.
Techniques used in the lab include:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging – diffusion tensor imaging.
- In utero surgery, in utero electroporation of genetic constructs to label cells, over-express genes, or knock-down protein expression by siRNA.
- Tissue culture and in vitro primary cultures, including organotypic slice culture.
- Neuroanatomical and Histological approaches including tract tracing, immunohistochemistry, cryostat, vibratome, freezing microtome and electron and confocal microscopy
- Molecular Biological approaches including protein purification, PCR, Northern, and Western Blotting, in situ hybridisation, chromatin immunoprecipitation, luciferase assays and genomic analysis
Join our team:
Projects available for students at all levels of study from high school to PhD. Contact Prof. Richards for further details.
Liu C, Li Y, Edwards T.J., Kurniawan N.D., Richards L.J., Jiang T. (2016) Altered structural connectome in adolescent socially isolated mice. Neuroimage. 139: 259270.
Stringer B.W., Bunt J., Bryan W., Day B.W., Barry G., Jamieson P.R., Ensbey K.S., Bruce Z.C., Goasdoué K., Vidal H., Charmsaz S., Smith F.M., Cooper L.T., Piper M., Boyd A.W., Richards L.J. (2016) Nuclear Factor One B (NFIB) encodes a subtype-specific tumour suppressor in glioblastoma. Oncotarget, 5.
Lim J.W.C., Donahoo A.L.S., Bunt J., Edwards T.J., Fenlon L.R., Liu Y., Zhou. J., Moldrich R.X., Piper M., Gobius I., Bailey T.L., Wray N.R., Kessaris N., Poo M.M., Rubenstein J.L.R. and Richards L.J. (2015) EMX1 regulates NRP1-mediated wiring of the mouse anterior cingulate cortex. Development 142: 3746-3757.
Bunt J., Lim J.W.C., Zhao L., Mason S., Richards L.J. (2015) PAX6 does not regulate Nfia and Nfib expression during neocortical development. Sci. Rep. 5: 10668.
Tsuyama J., Bunt J., Richards L. J., Iwanari H., Mochizuki Y., Hamakubo T., Shimazaki T., and Okano H. (2015) MicroRNA-153 Regulates the Acquisition of Gliogenic Competence by Stem Cells. Stem Cell Reports 3: 365-377.
Fenlon L.R, Liu S., Gobius I., Kurniawan N.D., Murphy S., Moldrich R.X., Richards L.J. (2015) Formation of functional areas in the cerebral cortex is disrupted in a mouse model of autism spectrum disorder. Neural Dev. 10: 10.
Fenlon L.R. & Richards L.J. (2015) Contralateral targeting of the corpus callosum in normal and pathological brain function. Trends in Neurosci. 38: 264-272.
Aggarwal M., Gobius I., Richards L.J. and Mori S. (2015) Diffusion MR microscopy of cortical development in the mouse embryo. Cereb. Cortex Feb 25: 1970-80.
Morcom L.R., Edwards T.J. and Richards L.J. (2015) Cortical architecture, midline guidance and tractograhy of 3-D white matter tracts. Axons and Brain Architecture, 289-313 Editor: Rockland K.S. Publisher: Elsevier.
Kozulin P., Almarza G., Gobius I. and Richards L.J. (2015) Investigating early formation of the cerebral cortex by in utero electroporation - methods and protocols. Prenatal and Postnatal Determinants of Brain Development - Recent Studies and Methodological Advances, 3-20. Editor: Walker D. Publisher: Springer Science+Business Media.
Heng Y. H., Zhou B., Harris L., Harvey T., Smith A., Horne E., Martynoga B., Andersen J., Achimastou A., Cato K., Richards L.J., Gronostajski R. M., Yeo G. S., Guillemot F., Bailey T.L. and Piper M. (2014) NFIX regulates proliferation and migration within the murine SVZ neurogenic niche. Cereb. Cortex 25: 3758-3778.
Faridar A., Jones-Davis D., Rider E., Li J., Gobius I., Morcom L., Richards L.J., Sen S. and Sherr E.H. (2014) Mapk/Erk activation in an animal model of social deficits; a possible link to autism. Molecular Autism 5: 57.
Suárez R., Gobius I. and Richards, L. J. (2014) Evolution and development of interhemispheric connections in the vertebrate forebrain. Front. Human Neurosci. 8: 497.
Schmidt E.R., Brignani S., Adolfs Y., Lemstra S., Demmers J., Vidaki M., Donahoo A.L., Lillivalli K., Richards L.J., Karagogeos D., Kolk S.M. and Pasterkamp R.J. (2014) Subdomain-mediated axon-axon signaling and chemoattraction cooperate to regulate afferent innervation of the lateral habenula. Neuron 83: 372-87.
Suárez R., Fenlon L.R., Marek R., Avitan L., Sah P., Goodhill G.J. and Richards L.J. (2014) Balanced interhemispheric cortical activity is required for correct targeting of the corpus callosum. Neuron 82: 1289-1298.
Srivatsa S., Parthasarathy S., Britanova O., Bormuth I., Donahoo A.L., Ackerman S., Richards L.J. and Tarabykin V. (2014) Unc5C and DCC act downstream of Ctip2 and Satb2 and contribute to corpus callosum formation. Nature Comm. 5: 3708.
Piper M., Barry G., Harvey T.J., McLeay R., Smith A.G., Harris L., Mason S., Stringer B.W., Day B.W., Wray N.R., Gronostajski R.M., Bailey T.L., Boyd A.W. and Richards L.J. (2014) NFIB-mediated repression of the epigenetic factor Ezh2 regulates cortical development. J. Neurosci. 34: 2921-2930.
Edwards T.J., Sherr E.H., Barkovich A.J. and Richards L.J. (2014) Clinical, genetic and imaging findings identify new causes for corpus callosum development syndromes. Brain 137: 1579-1613.
Clark C.E.J., Richards L.J., Stacker S.A. and Cooper H.M. (2014) Wnt5a induces Ryk-dependent and -independent effects on callosal axon and dendrite growth. Growth factors 32: 11-7.
Fothergill T., Donahoo A.L., Douglass A., Zalucki O., Yuan J., Shu T., Goodhill G.J. and Richards L.J. (2014) Netrin-DCC signaling regulates corpus callosum formation through attraction of pioneering axons and by modulating Slit2-mediated repulsion. Cereb. Cortex 24: 1138-51.
Heng Y.H.E., McLeay R.C., Harvey T.J., Smith A.G., Barry G., Cato K., Plachez C., Little E., Mason S., Dixon C., Gronostajski R.M., Bailey T.L., Richards L.J. and Piper M. (2014) NFIX regulates neural progenitor cell differentiation during hippocampal morphogenesis. Cereb. Cortex 24: 261-279.
Lu T.J., Chen R.C., Cox T.C., Moldrich R.X., Kurniawan N., Tan G.H., Perry J., Ashworth A., Bartlett P.F., Zhang J., Lu B., Wu M.Y., Shen Q., Liu Y.Y., Richards L.J. and Xiong Z.Q. (2013) The X-linked microtubule-associated protein, Mid1, regulates axon development. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 110: 19131-6.
Zhou J., Wen Y., She L., Sui Y.N., Liu L., Richards L.J. and Poo M.M. (2013) Axon position within the corpus callosum determines contralateral cortical projection. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 110: e2714-e2723.
Stegeman S., Jolly L., Premarathne S., Gecz J., Richards L.J. and Wood S. (2013) Loss of Usp9x disrupts cortical architecture, hippocampal development and TGFb-mediated axonogenesis. PLOS One 8: e68287.
Harris L., Dixon C., Cato K., Heng Y.H., Kurniawan N.D., Ullman J.F.P., Janke A.L., Gronostajski R., Richards L.J., Burne T.H.J. and Piper M. (2013) Heterozygosity for Nuclear factor one X affects hippocampal dependent behaviour in mice. PLOS One 8: e65478.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
MBBS PhD Student
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship
Postdoctoral Research Fellow