Doctor Rose Chesworth Vieyra

Doctor Rose Chesworth Vieyra

Post Doctoral Research Fellow,
School of Medicine


Rose Chesworth Vieyra graduated from the University of Sydney in 2007 with a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours). She then worked as a research assistant for 3 years with Prof Tim Karl, investigating gene-environment interactions in schizophrenia using genetic mouse models. Rose started her PhD in 2011 at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne with Prof Andrew Lawrence. In her PhD (2011-2014), she examined the role of specific glutamate and adenosine receptors in methamphetamine addiction using genetic mouse models and viral mediated receptor deletion, to determine potential receptor targets for new addiction therapeutics. Rose continued her research in drug addiction with her first postdoctoral position at Prof Bernard Balleine’s Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Sydney (2015). Here she investigated how noradrenaline in amygdala subregions mediated the extinction of alcohol seeking in rats, to determine the utility of pharmacologically targeting the noradrenergic system to help prevent relapse in alcohol addiction. She also piloted optogenetic techniques in the laboratory. Rose brings her skills from drug addiction research to Western Sydney University, to examine gene-drug and gene-environment interactions in mouse models of schizophrenia with Prof Tim Karl. 

This information has been contributed by Doctor Vieyra.


  • PhD University of Melbourne

Professional Memberships

  • Biological Psychiatry Australia (2016 - 2017)
  • Australian Neuroscience Society (2012 - 2014)
  • Society for Mental Health Research (2015 - 2017)


  • Alan and Elizabeth Finkel Award 2011-06-01
  • Australian Neuroscience Society Travel Award 2012-01-27
  • Australian Neuroscience Society Travel Award 2014-01-26
  • NHMRC Dora Lush BioMedical PhD Scholarship 2011-01-01
  • Australian Rotary Health PhD Topup Scholarship 2011-01-01


  • Behavioural Neuroscience
  • Addiction
  • Genetic mouse models
  • Mental Health
  • Pharmacology

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • School of Medicine


  • Students of Brain Research
  • Students of Brain Research
  • Students of Florey Research
  • Pint of Science 2017


Phone: (02) 4620 3934
Location: 30.2.03B

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Chapters in Books

  • Chesworth, R., Watt, G. and Karl, T. (2018), 'Cannabinoid modulation of object recognition and location memory : a preclinical assessment', Handbook of Object Novelty Recognition. Volume 27, Elsevier 9780128120125.
  • Chesworth, R. and Corbit, L. (2017), 'The contribution of the amygdala to reward-related learning and extinction', The Amygdala: Where Emotions Shape Perception, Learning and Memories, Intech 9789535132493.

Journal Articles

  • Watt, G., Karl, T. and Chesworth, R. (2023), 'Light phase does not affect operant sucrose self-administration in adult male C57BL/6JAbr mice', Behavioural Brain Research, vol 454 .
  • Chesworth, R., Visini, G. and Karl, T. (2023), 'Impaired extinction of operant cocaine in a genetic mouse model of schizophrenia risk', Psychopharmacology, vol 240, no 7 , pp 1531 - 1546.
  • Wright, A., Konen, L., Mockett, B., Morris, G., Singh, A., Burbano, L., Milham, L., Hoang, M., Zinn, R., Chesworth, R., Tan, R., Royle, G., Clark, I., Petrou, S., Abraham, W. and Vissel, B. (2023), 'The Q/R editing site of AMPA receptor GluA2 subunit acts as an epigenetic switch regulating dendritic spines, neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease', Molecular Neurodegeneration, vol 18, no 1 .
  • Chesworth, R., Cheng, D., Staub, C. and Karl, T. (2022), 'Effect of long-term cannabidiol on learning and anxiety in a female Alzheimer's disease mouse model', Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol 13 .
  • Guerra, S., Chesworth, R., Weickert, C. and Karl, T. (2021), 'Effects of handling on the behavioural phenotype of the neuregulin 1 type III transgenic mouse model for schizophrenia', Behavioural Brain Research, vol 405 .
  • McLemon, E. and Chesworth, R. (2021), 'Cannabinoid treatment of opiate addiction', Neuroanatomy and Behaviour, vol 3, no 1 .
  • Chesworth, R., Rosa Porto, R., Yao, S. and Karl, T. (2021), 'Sex-specific sensitivity to methamphetamine-induced schizophrenia-relevant behaviours in neuregulin 1 type III overexpressing mice', Journal of Psychopharmacology, vol 35, no 1 , pp 50 - 64.
  • Chesworth, R., Gamage, R., Ullah, F., Sonego, S., Millington, C., Fernandez, A., Liang, H., Karl, T., Muench, G., Niedermayer, G. and Gyengesi, E. (2021), 'Spatial memory and microglia activation in a mouse model of chronic neuroinflammation and the anti-inflammatory effects of apigenin', Frontiers in Neuroscience, vol 15 .
  • Menne, V. and Chesworth, R. (2020), 'Schizophrenia and drug addiction comorbidity : recent advances in our understanding of behavioural susceptibility and neural mechanisms', Neuroanatomy and Behaviour, vol 2, no 1 .
  • Watt, G., Chesworth, R., Przybyla, M., Ittner, A., Garner, B., Ittner, L. and Karl, T. (2020), 'Chronic cannabidiol (CBD) treatment did not exhibit beneficial effects in 4-month-old male TAU58/2 transgenic mice', Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, vol 196 .
  • Hanif, S., Muhammad, P., Chesworth, R., Rehman, F., Qian, R., Zheng, M. and Shi, B. (2020), 'Nanomedicine-based immunotherapy for central nervous system disorders', Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, vol 41, no 7 , pp 936 - 953.
  • Gamage, R., Wagnon, I., Rossetti, I., Childs, R., Niedermayer, G., Chesworth, R. and Gyengesi, E. (2020), 'Cholinergic modulation of glial function during aging and chronic neuroinflammation', Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, vol 14 .
  • Chesworth, R. and Karl, T. (2020), 'Cannabidiol (CBD) reduces cocaine-environment memory in mice', Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, vol 199 .
  • Clarke, D., Chohan, T., Kassem, M., Smith, K., Chesworth, R., Karl, T., Kuligowski, M., Fok, S., Bennett, M. and Arnold, J. (2019), 'Neuregulin 1 deficiency modulates adolescent stress-induced dendritic spine loss in a brain region-specific manner and increases complement 4 expression in the hippocampus', Schizophrenia Bulletin, vol 45, no 2 , pp 339 - 349.
  • Kreilaus, F., Chesworth, R., Eapen, V., Clarke, R. and Karl, T. (2019), 'First behavioural assessment of a novel Immp2l knockdown mouse model with relevance for Gilles de la Tourette syndrome and Autism spectrum disorder', Behavioural Brain Research, vol 374 .
  • Lei, M., Teo, J., Song, H., McEwen, H., Lee, J., Couttas, T., Duncan, T., Chesworth, R., Bertz, J., Przybyla, M., Eersel, J., Heng, B., Guillemin, G., Ittner, L., Fath, T., Garner, B., Ittner, A., Karl, T. and Don, A. (2019), 'Sphingosine kinase 2 potentiates amyloid deposition but protects against hippocampal volume loss and demyelination in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease', The Journal of Neuroscience, vol 39, no 48 , pp 9645 - 9659.
  • Chesworth, R., Long, L., Weickert, C. and Karl, T. (2018), 'The endocannabinoid system across postnatal development in transmembrane domain neuregulin 1 mutant mice', Frontiers in Psychiatry, vol 9 .
  • Chesworth, R. and Corbit, L. (2018), 'Noradrenergic ?-receptor antagonism in the basolateral amygdala impairs reconsolidation, but not extinction, of alcohol self-administration : intra-BLA propranolol impairs reconsolidation of alcohol self-administration', Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, vol 151 , pp 59 - 70.
  • Chesworth, R. and Corbit, L. (2017), 'Recent developments in the behavioural and pharmacological enhancement of extinction of drug seeking', Addiction Biology, vol 22, no 1 , pp 3 - 43.
  • Chesworth, R. and Karl, T. (2017), 'Molecular basis of cannabis-induced schizophrenia-relevant behaviours : insights from animal models', Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports, vol 4, no 3 , pp 254 - 279.
  • Chesworth, R., Brown, R., Kim, J., Ledent, C. and Lawrence, A. (2016), 'Adenosine 2A receptors modulate reward behaviours for methamphetamine', Addiction Biology, vol 21, no 2 , pp 407 - 421.
  • Baker-Andresen, D., Zhao, Q., Li, X., Jupp, B., Chesworth, R., Lawrence, A. and Bredy, T. (2015), 'Persistent variations in neuronal DNA methylation following cocaine self-administration and protracted abstinence in mice', Neuroepigenetics, vol 4 , pp 1 - 11.
  • Long, L., Chesworth, R., Huang, X., McGregor, I., Arnold, J. and Karl, T. (2013), 'Transmembrane domain Nrg1 mutant mice show altered susceptibility to the neurobehavioural actions of repeated THC exposure in adolescence', International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, vol 16, no 1 , pp 163 - 175.
  • Chesworth, R., Brown, R., Kim, J. and Lawrence, A. (2013), 'The metabotropic glutamate 5 receptor modulates extinction and reinstatement of methamphetamine-seeking in mice', PLoS One, vol 8, no 7 .
  • Chesworth, R., Yulyaningsih, E., Cappas, E., Arnold, J., Sainsbury, A. and Karl, T. (2012), 'The response of neuregulin 1 mutant mice to acute restraint stress', Neuroscience Letters, vol 515, no 1 , pp 82 - 86.
  • Long, L., Chesworth, R., Huang, X., Wong, A., Spiro, A., McGregor, I., Arnold, J. and Karl, T. (2012), 'Distinct neurobehavioural effects of cannabidiol in transmembrane domain neuregulin 1 mutant mice', PLoS ONE, vol 7, no 4 .
  • Chesworth, R., Downey, L., Logge, W., Killcross, S. and Karl, T. (2012), 'Cognition in female transmembrane domain neuregulin 1 mutant mice', Behavioural Brain Research, vol 226, no 1 , pp 218 - 223.
  • Logge, W., Cheng, D., Chesworth, R., Bhatia, S., Garner, B., Kim, W. and Karl, T. (2012), 'Role of Abca7 in mouse behaviours relevant to neurodegenerative diseases', PLoS One, vol 7, no 9 .
  • Karl, T., Burne, T., Buuse, M. and Chesworth, R. (2011), 'Do transmembrane domain neuregulin 1 mutant mice exhibit a reliable sensorimotor gating deficit?', Behavioural Brain Research, vol 223, no 2 , pp 336 - 341.
  • Long, L., Chesworth, R., Huang, X., McGregor, I., Arnold, J. and Karl, T. (2010), 'A behavioural comparison of acute and chronic 9- tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in C57BL/6JArc mice', International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, vol 13, no 7 , pp 861 - 876.
  • Karl, T., Chesworth, R., Duffy, L. and Herzog, H. (2010), 'Acoustic startle response and sensorimotor gating in a genetic mouse model for the Y1 receptor', Neuropeptides, vol 44, no 3 , pp 233 - 239.
  • Long, L., Chesworth, R., Arnold, J. and Karl, T. (2010), 'A follow-up study : acute behavioural effects of ^9-THC in female heterozygous Neuregulin 1 transmembrane domain mutant mice', Psychopharmacology, vol 211, no 3 , pp 277 - 289.
  • Karl, T., Chesworth, R., Duffy, L. and Herzog, H. (2010), 'Schizophrenia-relevant behaviours in a genetic mouse model for Y2 deficiency', Behavioural Brain Research, vol 207, no 2 , pp 434 - 440.

Conference Papers

  • Chesworth, R., Brown, R., Kim, J. and Lawrence, A. (2015), 'Effect of adenosine 2A receptor knockdown in the nucleus accumbens shell on conditioned reward for methamphetamine', Inter-University Neuroscience and Mental Health Conference, Sydney, N.S.W..

Improving cognition in a mouse model of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic and disabling mental disorder, characterised by positive (hallucinations, delusions), negative (flattened affect) and cognitive symptoms (impairment in working memory and executive function). Cognitive impairment is a core component of the disorder, but is poorly treated by antipsychotic medication. Cognitive impairment in schizophrenia is hypothesised to be caused in part by deficits in prefrontal inhibitory interneurons expressing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Our laboratory has recently developed a mouse model [Neuregulin 1 (Nrg1) transgenic mice] which exhibits reductions in GABAergic interneuron expression. These mice overexpress Type III Nrg1, which is observed in human patients with schizophrenia, and also exhibit negative and cognitive behaviours relevant to schizophrenia. The present project aims to enhance GABAergic interneuron function in these mice using pharmacological tools, and assess subsequent cognitive function, to determine if ameliorating deficits in GABAergic interneuron function may improve cognition in schizophrenia.


Investigating cannabinoid self-administration in a mouse model of schizophrenia

Cannabis abuse in schizophrenia is up to ten times higher than in healthy controls and can worsen symptoms and psychotic relapse. However, the mechanisms driving enhanced abuse liability and susceptibility to cannabinoid compounds are unclear. This project will address these questions by examining self-administration of psychoactive cannabinoids (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, THC or WIN55,212-2, WIN) and antipsychotic-like plant compounds (cannabidiol, CBD) in a number of schizophrenia mouse models for the risk gene neuregulin 1. This project will determine whether THC and/or WIN are more reinforcing in mice which are genetically predisposed to schizophrenia. This could explain the abuse potential of cannabis in individuals with schizophrenia. The experiments will also examine the therapeutic and reinforcing properties of CBD, which is critical for assessing the clinical suitability of CBD for the treatment of schizophrenia. These experiments will greatly improve our understanding of why cannabinoid compounds are often abused in schizophrenia, which will influence preventative measures and health care outcomes

This information has been contributed by Doctor Vieyra.

Current Projects

Title: Developing novel strategies to normalize dopamine dysregulation during inflammation [via University of New South Wales]
  • NSW Ministry of Health
Western Researchers: Tim Karl and Rose Chesworth Vieyra
Years: 2023-02-06 - 2026-12-31
ID: P00027807
Title: Stream 3 - Evaluation of novel therapeutic candidates
  • The Ainsworth Foundation
Western Researchers: Michael O'Connor, Gerald Muench, Ritesh Raju, Tim Karl, Genevieve Steiner-Lim, Rose Chesworth Vieyra and Rossana Rosa Porto
Years: 2021-10-01 - 2025-12-31
ID: P00027633
Title: Evaluation of anti-inflammatories in restoring K+ homeostasis during neurodegeneration
  • University of Western Sydney
  • Indena
Western Researchers: Yossi Buskila, Erika Gyengesi, Rose Chesworth Vieyra and Gerald Muench
Years: 2022-04-01 - 2025-04-01
ID: P00028081

Previous Projects

Title: Interactions between inflammation and tau on the basal forebrain cholinergic system - a new target for early diagnosis and treatment
  • Dementia Australia Research Foundation Ltd.
Western Researchers: Rose Chesworth Vieyra, Erika Gyengesi and Yossi Buskila
Years: 2022-02-01 - 2024-03-01
ID: P00027491
Title: Understanding Cannabinoid Abuse in Schizophrenia
  • Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation Ltd
Western Researchers: Rose Chesworth Vieyra
Years: 2017-04-03 - 2018-04-03
ID: P00023685
Title: Cannabidiol: a new preventative treatment for schizophrenia?
  • Australian Rotary Health (non ACRG)
Western Researchers: Rose Chesworth Vieyra and Tim Karl
Years: 2018-01-01 - 2021-12-31
ID: P00024826
Title: Novel Nanotechnology for the Delivery of Amyloid and Tau aggregation Targeting siRNA for a potential Alzheimer's Disease Therapy [via MQ]
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Rose Chesworth Vieyra
Years: 2019-02-01 - 2022-12-31
ID: P00025011
Title: Cannabidiol: a new therapeutic treatment for drug addiction in schizophrenia
  • Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation Ltd
Western Researchers: Rose Chesworth Vieyra
Years: 2020-03-03 - 2023-03-30
ID: P00026066

Western Sydney University

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Penrith NSW 2751

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