Dr Bernadette Fitzgibbon

Dr Bernadette Fitzgibbon is an NHMRC early career research fellow at MAPrc.
Bernadette graduated from her PhD in 2012 where she conducted the first clinical and neurophysiological studies of a new pain phenomenon in amputees.
Her current research utilises modern neuroscientific techniques including Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Electroencephalography, to explore the neurobiology of pain perception and to develop novel treatment approaches for chronic pain syndromes.
She also has a significant interest in social cognition and how pain can be used as a model to explore how we understand the thoughts, feelings and actions of other people.
She has received several awards for her research including the 2014 Bethlehem Griffith Foundation Young Researcher Award, a 2014 Tall Poppy Award from the Australian Institute of Policy of Science and the 2012 Vice Chancellor's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence (Monash University). Her work has been covered in top media outlets including New Scientist magazine, Australasian Science, and The Psychologist. She has also been invited to write online pieces for The Conversation and Body in Mind Blog, and been interviewed on 3RRR and ABC1 television.
If you would like to find out more about Bernadette's research, please contact bernadette.fitzgibbon@monash.edu.



Selected Presentations
  1.  FITZGIBBON, B.M. A pilot investigation of therapeutic brain stimulation treatment for fibromyalgia. Australian Pain Society's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting, (March 2016), Perth, Australia. 
  2. FITZGIBBON B.M. Pain in the brain: the overlap between physical pain, empathy for pain and social pain. Science Stars of Tomorrow, Australian Academy of Science (June, 2015), Canberra, Australia
  3. FITZGIBBON, B.M. Australian Pain Society’s 34th Annual Scientific Meeting, Empathy and pain: from the neuroscience to the clinic, (April 2014), Hobart, Australia.

Selected Papers 
  1.  FITZGIBBON, B.M. Hoy, K.E., Guymer, E.K., Littlejohn, G.O., Fitzgerald, P.B. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for pain (rTMS): is it too early to standardise rTMS protocols? Pain (Letter to the editor, accepted 17/11/2015).
  2.  FITZGIBBON, B.M., Kirkovski, M., Bailey, N., Thomson, R., Eisenberger, N., Enticott, P. Fitzgerald, P.B. Low-Frequency brain stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex increases the negative impact of social exclusion among those high in personal distress. Social Neuroscience (accepted 11/3/2016).
  3. FITZGIBBON, B.M., Guimmarra, M., et al., Tsao, J.W., Gibson, S., Rich, A.N., Georgiou-Karistianis, N. , . .. Enticott, P.G. (in press). Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder associated with painful and non-painful vicarious reactivity following amputation. Journal of Traumatic Stress.
  4. Enticott. P.G., FITZGIBBON B.M., Kennedy, H., Arnold, S.A., Elliot, D. Peachey, A., Zangen, A. Fitzgerald, P.B. (2014). A double-blind, randomized trial of deep repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for autism spectrum disorder. Brain Stimulation, 7(2), 206-211.
  5. FITZGIBBON, B.M., Enticott, P.G., Giummarra, M.J., Thomson, R.H., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Bradshaw, J.L. (2012). Abnormal electrophysiological activity during pain observation in amputees who experience synaesthetic pain. 7, 357-368. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
  6. FITZGIBBON, B.M., Enticott, P.G., Rich, A., Giummarra, M.J., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Tsao, J., Weeks, S. Bradshaw, J.L. (2010). High incidence of 'synaesthesia for pain' in amputees. 48, 3675--3678. Neuropsychologia.
  7. FITZGIBBON, B.M., Giummarra, M.J., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Enticott, P.G., Bradshaw, J.L. (2010). Shared pain: From empathy to synaesthesia. 34, 500-512. Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews.

For a full list of published peer-reviewed articles, see www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernadette_Fitzgibbon

Student Supervision
Current Student Supervision
2015 – current, Xianwei Che, PhD
2015 - current, Sin-Ki Ng, PhD
2016 - current, Greg Roebuck, MD
Completed Student Supervision
2014, Laura Blair-West, BMedSci(Hons)
2014, Marco Michael, BMedSci(Hons)
Available PhD Project:
Pain perception in psychiatric and neurological illness
There is an emerging interest in abnormalities in pain perception in people who experience psychiatric and neurological illness. In this PhD project, we are looking for a high-performing PhD student with a background in psychology and/or neuroscience to investigate abberant pain experiences in psychiatric and neurological illness through the use of brain stimulation and electrophysiological methods. It is expected that the successful candidate will be funded through the standard APA scholarship.

Available Honours Project:
To be announced mid 2016
If you would like to find out more about the above research opportunities, please contact bernadette.fitzgibbon@monash.edu.


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