Bill Bennett

UTAS Home Dr Bill Bennett

Bill Bennett

Senior Technical Officer
Wicking Dementia Research & Education Centre

Room 417-18 (Level 4) , Medical Science 1

+61 3 6226 7794 (phone)

Dr Bill Bennett is a Research Fellow in Synaptic Plasticity within the Wicking Dementia Centre for Research and Education. He is a research neuroscientist with a particular interest in in vivo models of disease, mainly using transgenic mice. He is currently working on the mechanisms by which transcranial magnetic stimulation alters neuroplasticity.


Dr Bennett's research background is diverse and encompasses a range of medical research areas. He gained his PhD from the University of Bath in 2000, and has worked in the fields of mouse transgenics, developmental biology, wound healing, stem cell transplantation and cancer cell biology. He joined the University of Tasmania in 2008 and has worked in the area of neuroscience since then.

Prior to gaining his PhD he worked at the University of Oxford in Martin Pera's group, examining cancer stem cell biology. At the University of Bath he did postdoctoral work with Jonathan Slack and Andrew Ward.

At the University of Manchester he worked on wound healing and stem cell transplantation. In 2013, he joined Wicking and his work has focussed on the neuroscience of dementia, and also on the mechanisms of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Career summary


  • PhD, University of Bath, UK, 2000. Thesis: Characterisation of developmentally important genes mutated by transgene  insertion in the laboratory mouse
  • B.Sc. (Hons), University of Glasgow, UK. 1986

Languages (other than English)

Basic French


Professional practice

  • Australasian Neuroscience Society (ANS)
  • International Society for Neuroscience (ISN)


Neuroscience; anatomy and physiology; developmental biology; evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo).

Teaching expertise

Dr Bennett teaches in a range of areas within the School of Medicine and has lectured in neuroscience since 2012. Bill has previously taught Anatomy and Physiology to nursing and paramedic students in the Fundamentals of Bioscience (CXA107) and Bioscience 1 (CXA202).

Teaching responsibility

View more on Dr Bill Bennett in WARP


  • Advanced in vivo surgical techniques in rodents
  • Pre-clinical trials in mice
  • Behavioural studies in mice
  • Generation of transgenic mice
  • Molecular biology (cloning) and construct design
  • Protein purification
  • Tissue culture
  • Advanced microscopy techniques (in vivo multiphoton or 2-photon)
  • Developmental biology

Research Themes

Bill's research aligns with the University's research them of Better Health and with the NHMRC priority areas of Dementia and Aging Well. As a member of Wicking, his research is targeted towards better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms which underpin dementia. In particular, he is interested in the changes in neuroplasticity associated with aging, and with Alzheimer's Disease.

His research in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is concerned with the cellular mechanisms by which this non-invasive treatment method alters neuroplasticity. This therapy is particularly important in the clinical areas of stroke and depression, but is very poorly understood. Dr Bennett works with Dr Alison Canty within Wicking on how TMS alters neuroplasticity in mice, and the team collaborates with the Human Movement and Neuroscience (HuMAN) Laboratory in the Discipline of Psychology at the University of Tasmania, to try and draw translational links between mouse and human neuroplasticity.

Within Wicking, his research is particularly concerned with behavioural testing, and with high-end in vivo imaging techniques (multiphoton microscopy), which allow us to study synaptic plasticity in live mice over long periods of time (weeks to months).


Dr Bennett is currently collaborating with the Human Movement and Neuroscience (HuMAN) Laboratory in the Discipline of Psychology at the University of Tasmania, and with the School of Animal Biology at UWA on the TMS project.

Current projects

  • Mechanisms of transcranial magnetic stimulation in mice (mus musculus) NHMRC funded project.

Fields of Research

  • Central nervous system (320903)
  • Developmental genetics (incl. sex determination) (310503)
  • Neurology and neuromuscular diseases (320905)
  • Cell development, proliferation and death (310102)
  • Neurosciences (320999)
  • Cellular nervous system (320902)
  • Neurogenetics (310511)
  • Cancer cell biology (321101)
  • Structural biology (incl. macromolecular modelling) (310112)
  • Other biological sciences (319999)
  • Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases) (320101)
  • Peripheral nervous system (320906)
  • Tumour immunology (320409)
  • Pathology (excl. oral pathology) (320220)
  • Cellular immunology (320404)
  • Geriatrics and gerontology (320210)
  • Molecular targets (321108)

Research Objectives

  • Clinical health (200199)
  • Other health (209999)
  • Treatment of human diseases and conditions (200105)
  • Health related to ageing (200502)
  • Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions (200101)


Total publications


Highlighted publications

(2 outputs)
2006Journal ArticleAntonellis A, Bennett WR, Menheniott TR, Prasad AB, Lee-Lin SQ, et al., 'Deletion of long-range sequences at Sox10 compromises developmental expression in a mouse model of Waardenburg-Shah (WS4) syndrome', Human Molecular Genetics, 15, (2) pp. 259-271. ISSN 0964-6906 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddi442 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 55Web of Science - 53


2003Journal ArticleBennett WR, Crew TE, Slack JMW, Ward A, 'Structural-proliferative units and organ growth: effects of insulin-like growth factor 2 on the growth of colon and skin ', Development (Cambridge), 130, (6) pp. 1079-1088. ISSN 0950-1991 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1242/dev.00333 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 30Web of Science - 33


Journal Article

(24 outputs)
2022Handley EE, Reale LA, Chuckowree JA, Dyer MS, Barnett GL, et al., 'Estrogen Enhances Dendrite Spine Function and Recovers Deficits in Neuroplasticity in the prpTDP-43A315T Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis', Molecular Neurobiology, 59, (5) pp. 2962-2976. ISSN 0893-7648 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s12035-022-02742-5 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Handley EE; Reale LA; Chuckowree JA; Dyer MS; Barnett GL; Clark CM; Dickson TC; Blizzard CA


2021Tang AD, Bennett W, Bindoff AD, Bolland S, Collins J, et al., 'Subthreshold repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation drives structural synaptic plasticity in the young and aged motor cortex', Brain Stimulation, 14 pp. 1498-1507. ISSN 1935-861X (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2021.10.001 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 6Web of Science - 6

Co-authors: Bindoff AD; Collins J; Langley RC; Garry MI; Summers JJ; Hinder MR; Canty AJ


2020Fulopova B, Stuart KE, Bennett W, Bindoff A, King AE, et al., 'Regional differences in beta amyloid plaque deposition and variable response to midlife environmental enrichment in the cortex of APP/PS1 mice', Journal of Comparative Neurology pp. 1-14. ISSN 0021-9967 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/cne.25060 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Fulopova B; Stuart KE; Bindoff A; King AE; Vickers JC; Canty AJ


2020Lewis KEA, Bennett W, Blizzard CL, West AK, Chung RS, et al., 'The influence of metallothionein treatment and treadmill running exercise on disease onset and survival in SOD1G93A amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mice', European Journal of Neuroscience, 52, (4) pp. 3223-3241. ISSN 0953-816X (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/ejn.14682 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Lewis KEA; Blizzard CL; West AK; Chuah MI


2018Leung JYK, Bennett WR, King AE, Chung RS, 'The impact of metallothionein-II on microglial response to tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) and downstream effects on neuronal regeneration', Journal of Neuroinflammation, 15, (1) pp. 1-9. ISSN 1742-2094 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1186/s12974-018-1070-3 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8Web of Science - 8

Co-authors: Leung JYK; King AE; Chung RS


2018Tang AD, Bennett W, Hadrill C, Collins J, Fulopova B, et al., 'Low intensity repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation modulates skilled motor learning in adult mice', Scientific Reports, 8 Article 4016. ISSN 2045-2322 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-22385-8 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 20Web of Science - 18

Co-authors: Hadrill C; Collins J; Fulopova B; Wills K; Bindoff A; Puri R; Garry MI; Hinder MR; Summers JJ; Canty AJ


2016Tang AD, Lowe AS, Garrett AR, Woodward R, Bennett W, et al., 'Construction and evaluation of rodent-specific rTMS coils', Frontiers in Neural Circuits, 10 Article 47. ISSN 1662-5110 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3389/fncir.2016.00047 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 52Web of Science - 49

Co-authors: Canty AJ; Garry MI; Hinder MR; Summers JJ


2014Lewis KE, Rasmussen A, Bennett W, King A, West AK, et al., 'Microglia and motor neurons during disease progression in the SOD1G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Changes in arginase1 and inducible nitric oxide synthase', Journal of Neuroinflammation, 11 Article 55. ISSN 1742-2094 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1186/1742-2094-11-55 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 48Web of Science - 51

Co-authors: Lewis KE; Rasmussen A; King A; West AK; Chung RS; Chuah MI


2012Howells C, Saar K, Eaton E, Ray S, Palumaa P, et al., 'Redox-active Cu(II)-Aβ causes substantial changes in axonal integrity in cultured cortical neurons in an oxidative-stress dependent manner', Experimental Neurology, 237, (2) pp. 499-506. ISSN 0014-4886 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2012.06.002 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 6Web of Science - 5

Co-authors: Howells C; Eaton E; Ray S; Shabala L; West AK; Chung RS


2012Langford-Smith A, Wilkinson FL, Langford-Smith KJ, Holley RJ, Sergijenko A, et al., 'Hematopoietic stem cell and gene therapy corrects primary neuropathology and behavior in Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA mice', Molecular Therapy, 20, (8) pp. 1610-1621. ISSN 1525-0016 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/mt.2012.82 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 83Web of Science - 83


2012Leung JYK, Bennett WR, Herbert RP, West AK, Lee PR, et al., 'Metallothionein promotes regenerative axonal sprouting of dorsal root ganglion neurons after physical axotomy', Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 69, (5) pp. 809-817. ISSN 1420-9071 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-011-0790-7 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 12Web of Science - 12

Co-authors: Leung JYK; Herbert RP; West AK; Chuah MI; Chung RS


2011Pankhurst MW, Bennett W, Kirkcaldie MTK, West AK, Chung RS, 'Increased circulating leukocyte numbers and altered macrophage phenotype correlate with the altered immune response to brain injury in metallothionein (MT) -I/II null mutant mice', Journal of Neuroinflammation, 8, (December) Article 172. ISSN 1742-2094 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1186/1742-2094-8-172 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 14Web of Science - 15

Co-authors: Pankhurst MW; Kirkcaldie MTK; West AK; Chung RS


2011Ray S, Howells C, Eaton ED, Butler CW, Shabala L, et al., 'Tg2576 cortical neurons that express human Aβ are susceptible to extracellular Aβ-induced, K+ efflux dependent neurodegeneration ', PL o S One , 6, (4) Article e19026. ISSN 1932-6203 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019026 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 6Web of Science - 4

Co-authors: Ray S; Howells C; Eaton ED; Butler CW; Shabala L; West AK; Chung RS


2010Chung RS, Howells C, Eaton ED, Shabala L, Zovo K, et al., 'The Native Copper- and Zinc- Binding Protein Metallothionein Blocks Copper-Mediated Aβ Aggregation and Toxicity in Rat Cortical Neurons', P L o S One, 5, (8) EJ ISSN 1932-6203 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012030 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 60Web of Science - 57

Co-authors: Chung RS; Howells C; Eaton ED; Shabala L; Woodhouse A; Ray S; Vickers JC; West AK


2009Malinowska M, Wilkinson FL, Bennett WR, Langford-Smith KJ, O'Leary HA, et al., 'Genistein reduces lysosomal storage in peripheral tissues of mucopolysaccharide IIIB mice ', Molecular Genetics and Metabolism: An International Journal, 98, (3) pp. 235-242. ISSN 1096-7192 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2009.06.013 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 83Web of Science - 80


2007O'Ceallaigh S, Herrick SE, Bennett WR, Bluff JE, Ferguson MW, et al., 'Perivascular cells in a skin graft are rapidly repopulated by host cells', Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery , 60, (8) pp. 864-875. ISSN 1748-6815 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.bjps.2006.03.036 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 10Web of Science - 11


2006Antonellis A, Bennett WR, Menheniott TR, Prasad AB, Lee-Lin SQ, et al., 'Deletion of long-range sequences at Sox10 compromises developmental expression in a mouse model of Waardenburg-Shah (WS4) syndrome', Human Molecular Genetics, 15, (2) pp. 259-271. ISSN 0964-6906 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddi442 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 55Web of Science - 53


2006Okamoto H, Hribal ML, Lin HV, Bennett WR, Ward A, et al., 'Role of the forkhead protein FoxO1 in beta cell compensation to insulin resistance', Journal of Clinical Investigation, 116, (3) pp. 775-782. ISSN 0021-9738 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1172/JCI24967 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 105Web of Science - 98


2006Wong J, Bennett WR, Ferguson MWJ, McGrouther DA, 'Microscopic and histological examination of the mouse hindpaw digit and flexor tendon arrangement with 3D reconstruction ', Journal of Anatomy: Molecular, Cellular and Experimental Morphology, 209, (4) pp. 533-545. ISSN 0021-8782 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2006.00625.x [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 27Web of Science - 28


2004Charalambous M, Menheniott TR, Bennett WR, Kelly SM, Dell G, et al., 'An enhancer element at the Igf2/H19 locus drives gene expression in both imprinted and non-imprinted tissues ', Developmental Biology: An International Journal, 271, (2) pp. 488-497. ISSN 0012-1606 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2004.04.022 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 38Web of Science - 33


2004Seymour PA, Bennett WR, Slack JMW, 'Fission of pancreatic islets during postnatal growth of the mouse', Journal of Anatomy: Molecular, Cellular and Experimental Morphology, 204, (2) pp. 103-116. ISSN 0021-8782 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2004.00265.x [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 26Web of Science - 22


2003Bennett WR, Crew TE, Slack JMW, Ward A, 'Structural-proliferative units and organ growth: effects of insulin-like growth factor 2 on the growth of colon and skin ', Development (Cambridge), 130, (6) pp. 1079-1088. ISSN 0950-1991 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1242/dev.00333 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 30Web of Science - 33


2003Charalambous M, Smith FM, Bennett WR, Crew TE, Mackenzie F, et al., 'Disruption of the imprinted Grb10 gene leads to disproportionate overgrowth by an Igf2-independent mechanism', National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America. Proceedings, 100, (14) pp. 8292-8297. ISSN 0027-8424 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1532175100 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 221Web of Science - 204


2002Cooper S, Bennett W, Andrade J, Reubinoff BE, Thomson J, et al., 'Biochemical properties of a keratan sulphate/chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan expressed in primate pluripotent stem cells ', Journal of Anatomy: Molecular, Cellular and Experimental Morphology, 200, (3) pp. 259-265. ISSN 0021-8782 (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1046/j.1469-7580.2002.00034.x [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 32Web of Science - 22



(1 outputs)
2010McGee HM, Woods GM, Bennett B, Chung RS, 'The two faces of metallothionein in carcinogenesis: photoprotection against UVR-induced cancer and promotion of tumour survival', Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, 9, (4) pp. 586-596. (2010) [Substantial Review]

DOI: 10.1039/b9pp00155g [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 24Web of Science - 24

Co-authors: McGee HM; Woods GM; Chung RS


Conference Publication

(3 outputs)
2015Tang A, Bennett WR, Garry MI, Hinder MR, Summers JJ, et al., 'Investigating the mechanisms of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation using motor learning paradigms and in vivo 2 photon imaging', 1st International Brain Stimulation Conference, 2-4 March, 2015, Singapore (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Garry MI; Hinder MR; Summers JJ; Canty A

2015Tang G, Garrett A, Woodward R, Bennett WR, Hadrill CE, et al., 'Construction and evaluation of rodent-specific TMS coils', 1st International Brain Stimulation Conference, 2-4 March, 2015, Singapore (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Hadrill CE; Canty A; Garry MI; Hinder MR; Summers JJ

2011Bennett WR, Blackburn NB, King AE, Chung RS, West AK, 'Does metallothionein attenuate mutant SOD1 aggregation in MND', 22nd Symposium on ALS/MND, November 2011, Sydney, Australia (2011) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Blackburn NB; King AE; Chung RS; West AK

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Characterisation of the axonal response to passive and environmentally induced neuroplasticity in an APP/PSl model of Alzheimer's disease (2021)$5,000
The aim of the current project is to use animal models to study axonal plasticity in a healthy nervous system, and nervous system marked by AD pathology, and to investigate if there are any potential therapeutic benefits to modulating synaptic plasticity in these models.The funding was originally awarded to attend the Society for Neuroscience conference in 2020 but, due to COVID-19, the funding has been deferred. DCRC has said the funding can be used for conference travel 'at a later date'.
Dementia Collaborative Research Centre ($5,000)
Grant-Conference Travel
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Canty A; Bennett WR
In pursuit of an innovative experimental model of vascular dementia-a pilot study (2018)$10,000
This collaboration will be between imaging neuroscientists based in the Wicking DementiaResearch and Education Centre (Canty, Bennett) and a cerebral vascular biologist based inthe School of Medicine (Sutherland). This work will take two different areas of biologicalresearch, our blood vessels and our brains, and investigate how reduced blood flow caninfluence neurons within our brains after an ischemic event typical of vascular dementia.This collaboration will run across two divisions of the College of Health and Medicine: theSchool of Medicine and the Wicking Dementia Centre and include staff at different levels(D/C/B). This collaboration aligns with the University subtheme of complex disease, underthe umbrella of Better Health - investigating the complexity of mixed dementia and linking itwith cardiovascular health. Dementia is a recognised flagship of the College of Health andMedicine, and this project aims to initiate a new area of research in vascular dementia,capitalising on existing researcher strengths. Alison Canty and Brad Sutherland are leaders intheir respective fields of expertise, and seek to work together on this innovative project toestablish a new line of enquiry to determine the origins of the pathology of vasculardementia. If funded, and if successful, we would aim to recruit a HDR student to continuethis work, providing a valuable training opportunity
University of Tasmania ($10,000)
Grant- Research Enhancement Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Canty A; Sutherland BA; Bennett WR
Assessing the role of metallothionein in the development of non-melanoma skin cancer (2010)$5,000
Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation ($5,000)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
McGee HM; West AK; Woods GM; Bennett WR

Research Supervision




PhDCharacterisation of the Axonal Response to Passive and Environmentally Induced Neuroplasticity in an APP/PS1 Model of Alzheimer's Disease
Candidate: Barbora Fulopova
PhDEmtins: Novel Peptides Derived from Metallothionein-II as Potential Therapeutics in Alzheimer's Disease
Candidate: Emma Dawn Eaton