Who We Are

FND Research Connect is run by a team of functional neurological disorder researchers based at the University of Queensland’s Queensland Brain Institute.

Our Team

Picture of Alex Lehn, functional neurological disorder researcher and member of FND Research Connect governance panel

David Palmer

FND Research Connect Project Lead

Researcher Representative

David is a movement disorders neurologist at Nambour and Sunshine Coast University Hospitals with a clinical and research interest in functional neurological disorder (FND). He is the neurologist for the Sunshine Coast multidisciplinary FND treatment clinic, and before moving to Australia founded New Zealand’s first multidisciplinary FND treatment clinic. His current research focuses on trying to better understand the mechanisms of brain processing that cause FND.

Picture of Alex Lehn, functional neurological disorder researcher and member of FND Research Connect governance panel

Alex Lehn

Researcher Representative

Associate Professor Alexander Lehn attended medical school in Germany (Regensburg and Munich) and conducted his residency and basic physician training in the United Kingdom (Bristol) and Australia (Nambour and Brisbane). A/Prof Lehn then undertook a Fellowship in movement disorders at the Princess Alexandra hospital followed by a Fellowship in movement disorders and dementia in Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom. 

A/Prof Lehn heads the movement disorder service at PA Hospital and together with Dr Sarah Olson he runs the deep brain stimulation service at PA Hospital and Mater Hospital Brisbane.

A/Prof Lehn has a strong clinical and research interest in Functional Neurological Disorders. He heads the movement disorder and Functional Neurological Disorder research unit at Princess Alexandra Hospital. From 2015 to 2019 he ran a dedicated multidisciplinary clinic for the diagnosis and management of Functional Neurological Disorders at Mater Hospital in Brisbane and he has published extensively about the diagnosis and management of Functional Neurological Disorders.

Picture of Nerine Williams, FND patient advocate and member of FND Research Connect governance panel

Nerine Williams

FND Community Representative

Nerine is an active member in the Australian and New Zealand FND community and experiences cognitive, sensory, and physical FND symptoms.

Prior to FND, Nerine’s career centred on education and stakeholder consultation, spanning the fields of human resources, information systems, governance, and leadership. Since then, she has crafted her own return to work journey, using her lived experience in her roles as an Assistive Technology Mentor and Disability Advocate.

In 2021, Nerine established the North Brisbane support group for people with FND.  She also supports other peer leaders in their local communities and shares helpful tools and strategies for managing day-to-day life with FND through her FND Living website.

The FND Research Connect project has been reviewed and approved by the University of Queensland Human Research Ethics Committee with project number 2023/HE001397.