Dr Helen Anscomb joined the Discipline of Anatomy and Pathology at JCU in 2005, when she relocated from the United Kingdom to Australia. Helen has more than 15 years of teaching experience at a tertiary level and has been a recipient of a number of teaching awards and honours including a JCU Citation for outstanding contributions to student learning (2008), a Faculty Teaching Scholar award (2009) and has been listed as one of JCU’s Top 10 lecturers of the year (Unijobs, 2010).

Helen is currently the Head of Anatomy and Pathology,  the Anatomical Licencee for the College of Medicine and Dentistry and Coordinator of the Human Bequest Program. She holds responsibility for strategic leadership and oversight of the laboratory teaching facilities, the anatomical resources and the management of teaching activities in Anatomy and Pathology in both Townsville and Cairns. She is also Year 1 Coordinator for the MBBS program at JCU (2010-2013, 2016-present) and continues to teach human anatomy to Medical and Allied Health professional students throughout the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine.

More recently, Helen has taken on the role of course-coordinator for the Graduate Diploma of Surgical Anatomy, a program she developed alongside colleague Dr Monika Zimanyi. This program delivers an advanced human anatomy program to doctors, through whole-body anatomical dissection, and is designed for graduates who wish to pursue a surgical career.

Her principal areas of scientific research are related to the neurobiology of learning, memory and cognitive functions and she has focused on projects looking at synaptic mechanisms of learning; mechanisms of neuroinflammation and depression (NH&MRC funded) and the role of cytokines in psychological health. Since 2011 she has acted as primary supervisor for 2 PhD students who have completed their doctoral studies with the College of Medicine and Dentistry.

In addition, she is active in pedagogical research related to both her undergraduate and postgraduate teaching commitments, with particular interest in: first year university experience and student engagement, blended learning and postgraduate and clinical education, training and currency in foundation sciences.

  • AT8301: Surgical Anatomy (Level 8; TSV)
  • MD1010: Introduction to Integrated Medical Studies Part 1 of 2 (Level 1; TSV)
  • MD1020: Introduction to Integrated Medical Studies Part 2 of 2 (Level 1; TSV)
  • MD3011: Introduction to Clinical Healthcare Part 1 of 2 (Level 3; TSV)
  • MD6010: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 1 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6020: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 2 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6030: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 3 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • PS2004: Neuroscience in Physiotherapy (Level 2; TSV)
  • Impaired pathogenic responses and mental health issues in diabetes
  • Development of clinically relevant biomarker panel for predicting secondary complication risk (specifically psychological illness) in diabetes.
  • Investigating the role of the stress response and cytokines and their regulators in the development of psychological illness (anxiety and depression) and the impact on cognitive functioning.
  • First year university experience and student engagement.
  • Blended learning.
  • Postgraduate and clinical education, training and currency in foundation sciences.
  • 2011 to present - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Australia)
  • 2005 to 2010 - Lecturer, James Cook University (Australia)
  • 2004 to 2005 - Post Doctoral Researcher, University of Leeds (United Kingdom)
  • 2000 to 2003 - PhD, University of Leeds (United Kingdom)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2015 to 2016 - CIA on Faculty of Health, Medicine & Molecular Sciences development grant ($10,000) entitled: Indigenous MIND: a pilot biomarker study for Indigenous mental health
  • 2014 - CIE on Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine (AITHM) development grant ($35,000) entitled HART-BEAT: diabetes research from BENCH TO REAL-WORLD PRACTICE
  • 2013 - CIA on School of Medicine & Dentistry Grant Scheme ($8,000) entitled: Role of corticotrophin releasing factor in anxiety in Type 1 diabetes.
  • 2011 to 2013 - CIC on NHMRC project grant APP1003788 ($522,970) entitled: Development of anti-TNF treatment strategies for cognitive decline
  • 2009 - JCU Research Infrastructure Block grant ($16,000)
  • 2008 - CIA on Faculty of Health, Medicine & Molecular Sciences development grant ($9,000) entitled: Cytokines in brain structure and function
  • 2008 - Visiting Scholar Fellowship in Neuroimaging. Hosted by the Institute of Neuroscience (IoN) at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
  • 2008 - Completed the Australian Course in Advanced Neuroscience (funded by JCU's Faculty Administered Internal Grants Scheme and the Australian Neuroscience Society)
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Australian Society for Neuroscience
  • 2010 - JCU Top 10 Lecturer (as voted for by students)
  • 2009 - Faculty Teaching Leadership Scholar (project funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council)
  • 2009 - Graduate Certificate in Education (Teriary Teaching)
  • 2008 - JCU Citation for outstanding contributions to student learning
  • 2003 - PhD Neuroscience. Thesis entitled: A model of theta frequency rhythmic activity in the rat medial septum/diagonal band complex in vitro
  • 2000 - BSc (Hons) in Medical Sciences with Anatomical Sciences (Honours)

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Other research outputs

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 25+ research outputs authored by Dr Helen Anscomb from 2002 onwards.


Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

Connect with me
Share my profile
Share my profile:

Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advisor

Similar to me

  1. Dr Monika Zimanyi
    College of Medicine & Dentistry
  2. Dr Alexandra Trollope
    College of Medicine & Dentistry
  3. Prof Zoltan Sarnyai
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences
  4. Dr Prisca Noble
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences
  5. Dr Haleagrahara Nagaraja
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences