Dr Cynthia Forlini



Lecturer in Health Ethics and Professionalism


Faculty of Health


School of Medicine


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus



Dr Cynthia Forlini is Lecturer in Health Ethics and Professionalism in the School of Medicine (Faculty of Health) at Deakin University. Her research explores the neuroethical issues that arise as we redefine the boundaries between treatment, maintenance, and enhancement of cognitive performance. She has examined these issues conceptually and empirically as they relate to the use of neurotechnology (e.g. neuropharmaceuticals and non-invasive brain stimulation) in different contexts such as competitive academic environments, research, healthy cognitive ageing, and dementia prevention. Her work on cognitive ageing was supported by a Australia Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (2015-2017).

Cynthia completed her training in neuroethics at the Neuroethics Research Unit of the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (M.A., Université de Montréal; PhD, McGill University). Since, she has held research fellow positions at The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research (Addiction Neuroethics Group) and The University of Sydney (Sydney Health Ethics). Cynthia has been awarded visiting fellowships at the Centre for Advanced Studies of the Lugwig-Maximilian-University Munich (Germany), Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, Ruhr Universität Bochum (Germany), the Institute of Social Medicine of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

Read more on Cynthia's profile


Co-Leader of Student/Early Career Researcher Stream Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law

Elected member of the Nominating Committee of the International Neuroethics Society

Teaching interests

Health Ethics



Units taught

HME931 Research Scholar Program (2021)

HME711 Health Law and Ethics (2020- Tri 2)

HME912 Medicine 1B- Ethics, Law and Professionalism Topic Coordinator (2019-20)

Knowledge areas

Biomedical ethics; Ageing; Neuroethics; Dementia; Enhancement

Media appearances

Television and radio

SBS 'The Feed': "Nootropics- Do smart drugs reall make you more intelligent?". 4 June 2014.

ABC Radio National: "Do cognitive enhancing drugs actually make a person smarter?". 25 March 2018.



Sydney Dementia Network Travel Grant 2019. NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research Australian Dementia Forum 2019. 13-14 June 2019. Hobart, Australia. ($AUD 500) To enable attendance at the annual NNIDR ADF 2019.

Herrenhausen Conference Travel Grant Award 2018. “Lost in the maze? Navigating evidence and ethics in translational neuroscience”.14-16 February, 2018. Hanover, Germany.

International Neuroethics Society Travel Stipend 2017. International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting.

People’s Choice Award for Best Presentation. 2017 Lifespan Research Day. Lifespan Research Network, The University of Sydney.

International Visiting Fellowship in Medical Ethics 2012from the Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, Ruhr Universität Bochum. Bochum, Germany.

International Scholarship 2007-2008from the l’Institut International de Recherche en Éthique Biomédicale. Research Internship at the Institute of Social Medicine of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The neuroethics of cognitive ageing

Healthy cognitive ageing in the 1921-26 cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health

Mapping the ethical landscape of dementia research in the ageing population


No publications found

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

The neuroethics of cognitive ageing

Dr Cynthia Forlini

ARC DECRA - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

  • 2020: $42,217


No completed student supervisions to report