Profile image of Nicholas Ryan

Dr Nicholas Ryan



Senior Lecturer


Faculty of Health


School of Psychology


Melbourne Burwood Campus

Biography summary

Dr Nicholas Ryan, PhD, is a practicing Clinical Neuropsychologist and holds a continuing academic position as Senior Lecturer (Teaching and Research) in the School of Psychology at Deakin University. Dr Ryan also holds a honorary appointment as Senior Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital. 

As a clinician-scientist, Dr Ryan balances his clinical and academic work with his program of research in neurodevelopmental and acquired brain disorders. Broadly defined, his research aims to explore the various developmental, neuropathological, environmental, and genetic factors that interact to produce neurobehavioral phenotypes.

To date, Dr Ryan’s research has primarily focused on delineating the neurobiological and psychosocial underpinnings of cognitive disorders and social dysfunction after paediatric acquired brain insults (e.g. traumatic brain injury, stroke, epilepsy). This program of research employs a range of neuroimaging and behavioural methodologies to identify modifiable risk factors that may be amenable to intervention.

More recently, in collaboration with the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services (VCGS) and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Dr Ryan is undertaking research to examine the association between autism spectrum disorder and mutations of the Ras-MAPK signalling pathway. Dr Ryan is particularly interested in using social neuroscience techniques to identify potential mechanisms that underlie this association. This research will ultimately inform development of novel methods for assessment and treatment of socio-cognitive impairment in children with acquired and neurodevelopmental conditions.

Research interests

Clinical Neuropsychology

Neuropsychiatric Disorders      

Neuroimaging for Outcome Prediction in Neurodevelopmental and Acquired Brain Disorders (particularly Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, and ADHD)          

Non-pharmacological Treatments for Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia   

Cognition across the lifespan

Cognitive remediation and enhancement

Cognitive-behavioural Interventions to optimise mental health and wellbeing in children and families living with chronic health conditions


Brain and Mind Research, Murdoch Children's Research Institute 

Psychology Service, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne 

Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne 

VicFAS, Monash Children's Hospital 

Teaching interests

Psychological Assessment

Clinical Neuropsychology

Child Neuropsychological Disorders


Developmental Psychology 

Units taught

Unit Chair for HPS431 / HPS715 - Psychological Assessment

Unit Chair for HPS705 / HPS905 - Advanced Clinical Assessment 

Lecturing into HPY723 - Psychological Assessment in Practice, HPS779/979: Psychological Asessment, and HPS705/905: Advanced Clinical Assessment 

He supervises Fourth Year and Doctoral students. 

Professional activities

Board Certified Clinical Neuropsychologist, Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA)

Board Approved Supervisor and Registrar Program Principal Supervisor - Clinical Neuropsychology (PsyBA)

Member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS)

Fellow of the APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists 

Secretary of the APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists - Victorian Section

Co-Chair, Brain Injury Special Interest Group (SIG), International Neuropsychological Society 

Associate Editor, BMC Neurology  (Springer Nature)

Consulting Editor, Neuropsychology (American Psychological Association)

Research groups

Cognitive Neuroscience Unit (CNU)

Brain and Mind Research, Clinical Sciences, Murdoch Children's Research Institute 


Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Employability: Teaching Team of the Year 2021

Douglas & Tate Prize: Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment