Kirsten Coupland

Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Newcastle
Postdoctoral Fellow
Hunter Medical Research Institute

Newcastle, NSW

Contact me for

  • Mentoring
  • Sitting on boards or committees
  • Providing an expert opinion
  • Outreach activities
  • Conference presenting
  • Opportunities to collaborate


Research Interests

  • Glymphatics: fluid is constantly being moved around and through the brain. The flow of this fluid appears to be important in the clearing of waste products that build up during normal day-to-day function. Relatively little is known about this system, but we do know that it is intimately associated with the blood vessels of the brain. My work examines how this system functions and whether stroke disturbs this system.
  • Intracranial pressure: pressure inside the skull increases in the 24 hour period post-stroke. It is thought that this increase in pressure may damage the brain and lead to worse outcomes in terms of patient recovery. My research aims to better understand why this increase in pressure occurs and how it affects the brain.

Why did you get into research?

When I was young my favourite word was ‘why?’, and until someone could offer me a satisfactory answer I would keep asking. In research I get to ask ‘why?’ all the time, and, if no one can give me an answer, I head to the lab to figure it out.

What would be the ultimate goal of your research?

Much of what we think we know are actually assumptions. When it comes to a complex organ like the brain, that just won’t cut it. Ultimately I want to better understand how the fluid in the brain is produced, how it moves, where it goes and what it does so that we can better understand what goes wrong in a stroke, and how to better treat it.