Meet Our People

Professor David Ryugo

Professor David Ryugo BA Psych (Yale) PhD Psychobiology (University California)

David Ryugo is a Professor of Neuroscience at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney. He is also a Conjoint Professor, School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales and a Professor Emeritus John Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, USA. 

A neurobiologist with expertise in sensory neurobiology, he has studied and published in somatic sensation, vision, olfaction, and hearing, using tools from electrophysiology, cell biology, molecular biology, and microscopy.  His main focus is on brain mechanisms of hearing — investigating hearing’s role in development, learning, perception, cognition, and dementia.  

"I use mouse models to study brain connectomics — how the brain is wired. Aristotle is reputed to have said 'everything we know comes through the senses' and my interest is in understanding how it all works. How do we perceive, learn, and know? And what happens when something goes wrong? Because the brain epitomizes interactive processes, the study of one part of the brain necessarily involves other parts."


Interest in Sanfilippo:
"Sanfilippo is a devastating disease.  I am a scientist with a wide range of experiences and interests, and I think I can contribute to the scientific effort to learn more about this disease. Although I am not directly involved in Sanfilippo research, I understand the scientific method, am interested in brain biology, and hope to make a difference.

"Defects in the lysosomes that cause Sanfilippo are also found in some forms of hearing loss, so we see the complex relationships of brain biochemistry and function. The more we learn about the brain, the better we are able to plan strategies that fight these neurological disorders.

"Knowledge is the fundamental driver of innovation and invention. The work of the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation is to promote awareness of the disease and to help facilitate the best research on the topic. The most influential research will be that which reveals new knowledge about disease mechanisms surrounding Sanfilippo. As citizens of Australia and the world, we can help by contributing what we can in the form of time and/or monetary donations."