Tiza was awarded the ParkC Student Research Excellence Award in 2010.
At the time of receiving the PORSCE prize Tiza was an international student enrolled at ECU to undertake an Honours degree (a one year program of research). The prize enabled Tiza to pay for her university course fees and attend a national conference.
The objective of Tiza’s research was to create a detailed map of the primate caudal zona incert (ZI), deep brain stimulation (DBS) target for Parkinson’s and locate the concordant cytoarchitectural region within the rodent ZI. Tiza was interested in the ZI as it may be a safer and more effective target than the subthalamic nucleus (STN) for DBS in patients with PD and can be accurately targeted with MRI-directed guide tube technique being pioneered in Australia. Thus understanding the composition and function of ZI subregions is becoming critical. In contrast to the STN, the ZI differs markedly between rodents, primates and humans. It is much larger and fundamentally shaped differently in rodents than primates, including humans. For functional information to be translated between rodent and primate studies it is necessary to identify concordant cytoarchitectural regions within the rat, non-human primate, and human ZI.
Tiza received a final Honours grade of 70% (Upper Second Class) in July 2010. The results from her researched were incorporated into a poster that was displayed at the 14th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The poster was one of 15% selected to be part of a Guided Poster Tour and the posterabstract was also published in a scientific, peer-reviewed journal [M Thomas, T Chipungu, C Watson, C Lind. A new DBS clinical target for Parkinson’s disease (PD) - mapping the caudal zona incerta (ZI). Movement Disorders 25(S2): S181].