Heather Francis

Associate Professor

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Research activity per year

Personal profile


Heather completed her BPsych(hons) and Combined PhD/Master of Clinical Neuropsychology at Macquarie University in 2008 and 2013 respectively. She has held positions as a Clinical Neuropsychologist in the Neurology Department at Liverpool Hospital and as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of New South Wales and Macquarie University.  Currently, she is a Lecturer in Clinical Neuropsychology at Macquarie University and holds a position as a Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist in the Royal North Shore Hospital Neurology Department.

Research interests

Heather's primary research interest is in the area of nutritional neuroscience. Her studies have examined the effect of Western-style diets, high in saturated fat, refined sugar and processed foods, on cognition and mood. And conversely, the therapeutic potential of consuming a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet on improving symptoms of depressed mood. 

Heather's has additional interest in the assessment and remediation of cognition and social function in neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis and brain injury. Current projects include the role of inflammation in cognitive fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis, the efficacy of a group memory training program in people with multiple sclerosis, and the impact of a group therapy program on cognition and mood in binge eating disorder. 

Research student supervision

Heather supervises students in PhD, Masters of Clinical Neuropsychology and Honours. Topics include nutritional neuroscience, Western-style diet impact on cognition, therapeutic potential of Mediterranean-style diet, eating behaviour and cognitive remediation. 


Heather currently convenes and teaches on the following units:

1) PSYN855 (Convenor) Neuroanatomy for Neuropsychologists

2) PSYN916 (Lecturer) Advanced Neuropsychological Assessment

3) PSYN917 (Lecturer) Neuropsychological Practice

4) PSYN918 (Lecturer) Clinical Neuropsychology Research Proposal

5) PSY344 (Lecturer) Neuropsychology in Clinical Practice

6) MEDI921 (Lecturer) Musculoskeletal, Neurosciences and Aging

Education/Academic qualification

Psychology, Combined PhD/Masters of Clinical Neuropsychology, A high fat and refined sugar diet affects the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex: implications for memory, inhibition and sensitivity to interoceptive signals, Macquarie University


Award Date: 11 Nov 2013

Psychology, Bachelor of Psychology (honours), Macquarie University


Award Date: 3 Nov 2008

External positions

Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist, Royal North Shore Hospital

20 Mar 2019 → …


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