Seminars and Events

The seminars and meetings listed below are open to professionals and colleagues of NeuRA staff.

Sensorimotor Control Meeting

We are pleased to announce that the Sensorimotor Control Meeting for 2022 will be held on the afternoon of  Tuesday 13th December 2022.

Time: 12:30pm (to be confirmed)

Location: The Meeting will be held via Zoom.

Cost: This meeting is free to attend.

Registration:  Use the button below to register.

Further info: Presentations will be mostly by PhD and other students, and also post-docs.

*Note that scientists of all levels are welcome to attend to watch and participate in question time*



Visit the Website



Culture at the centre of ageing research and dementia prevention with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

This webinar focused on the cultural aspects of dementia prevention through the lens of a community-based team working with Aboriginal peoples and organisations across regional and urban areas of NSW.

NeuRA Seminar Series 2022

The NeuRA Seminar Series aims to provide the opportunity to listen to interesting and leading research across all fields of neuroscience. Presenters will include a mix of NeuRA-based scientists, as well as invited presentations from external domestic and international scientific experts. The presentations are held every Friday at 12 noon online and in the Level 3 John and Betty Lynch Seminar Room. The presentations aim to run for one hour.

The Seminar Committee is also continuing NeuRA Fast Talks / Drinks Series for 2022. This is an internal networking event that aims to occur monthly on the first Tuesday of the month from 4pm, this will include 3-4 NeuRA speakers followed by casual drinks.

If you are interested in attending these seminars and wish to be added to the regular email mailing list, please fill out the form.

 Date  Speaker   Position/Institution   Topic
 18 Feb 22  Cyndi Shannon-
 Shannon Weickert  An SOS from Dopamine Neurons in Schizophrenia
 25 Feb 22  Sonia Hesam Shariati  Fullerton  Environmental and biological contributors to the risk of bipolar disorder
 4 Mar 22  Samantha Millard  Schabrun  Modulating the brain’s sensitivity to pain
 18 Mar 22  Invited speaker
Associate  Professor
Susanna Park
 Brain and Mind Institute, University of Sydney  Nerve Damage Following Cancer Treatment – Connecting Neuroscience and Oncology Practice
 25 Mar 22  Ellen Finlay  Radford  Indigenous populations, ageing and the legacies of colonisation
 1 Apr 22  Hayley North  Shannon Weickert  Discovering links between inflammation, neurogenesis, brain structure and brain function in schizophrenia
 8 Apr 22  Jessica Chandra  Shannon Weickert  Effect of chronic antipsychotic treatment on neuroinflammation and dopamine neuron health in rats
 22 Apr 22  Invited speaker
Colleen Loo
 Blackdog Institute – UNSW  TBC
 29 Apr 22  Cameron Hicks  Lord  Ladder use in older people
 6 May 22  Atqiya Aishah  Eckert  Targeted therapies for obstructive sleep apnoea
 13 May 22  Nisha Mathew Walker  TBC
 20 May 22 Invited speaker
Professor Georgina
 Melanoma Institute Australia & the University of Sydney  TBC
 27 May 22 Bianca Albanese Brown  TBC
 3 Jun 22 Myf Cohen Bilston  TBC
 10 Jun 22 Meghan  Ambrens Delbaere  Exploring the experiences of our older population: Past, present and future
 17 Jun 22 Anandit Mathew  Butler  TBC
 24 Jun 22 Michael Wewege  McAuley  Analgesic medicines for acute low back pain: results from a systematic review and meta-analysis
 1 Jul 22 Kerith-Rae Dias  Roscioli  TBC
 8 Jul 22 Deepak Sharma  Ingvars Grouping impulses in tactile afferents can change perceptions
 15 Jul 22 Delyse McCaffrey Evidence for microglia as the unsuspected culprit of cancer-induced anxiety-like behaviour
 22 Jul 22  Invited Speaker: Juno Kim  TBC
 29 Jul-22 Anita Nitchingham Hypoactive and hypometabolic: the hype of FDG-PET in delirium.
 5 Aug 22
 12 Aug 22
 19 Aug 22 Invited Speaker: Danny Eckert
 26 Aug 22 Yilan Zhang
 2 Sep 22 Tharanwat Chantanachai
 9 Sep 22 Gabby Allen
 16 Sep 22 Lidan Zheng Anstey
 23 Sep 22 Invited Speaker: Genevieve Steiner
 30 Sep 22 Haeme Park
 7 Oct 22 Richard Vickery + Invited Speaker: Dr Kuo-Sheng Lee
 14 Oct 22 Rob Lloyd
 21 Oct 22 Lloyd Chan
 28 Oct 22 Kasia Bilska
 4 Nov 22 Lauren Poulos
 11 Nov 22 Lauriane Juge
 18 Nov 22 Brian Chow
 25 Nov 22 Steven Phu
 2 Dec 22 Fiona Knapman Optogenetics for Obstructive Sleep Apneia
 9 Dec 22 Tertia Purves-Tyson
 16 Dec 22 Mae Lim
 23 Dec 22

Primary contacts

Dr Jasmine Menant, Chair (

Dr Bart Bolsterlee, Deputy chair (

Dr Annie Palermo (

Ms Madeleine Veinovic (

Dr Sophie Andrews (

Dr Steve Kassem (

Dr Adam Walker (

Mr Lloyd Chan (

Dr Kim van Schooten (

Dr Adam Lawther (

2021 Dementia Prevention Conference – 28 October, 2021

On behalf of the Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration (DCRC) we warmly invite you to join us for the 2021 Dementia Prevention Conference. Due to current restrictions, the conference will now be held fully online via Zoom.

FREE Registration and abstract submission now open

Abstract Submission Guidelines

We invite you to submit your abstract to present at the conference in accordance with the following guidelines.

  1. Must be 200 words or less
  2. Must relate to dementia prevention and/or risk reduction
  3. Conference presentations will be 15mins with the option to be considered for a DataBlitz (A brief 5min presentation focusing on the main findings)
  4. Abstracts should include four sub-headings: Background and Aims, Methods, Results, and Discussion and should highlight how the study contributes to dementia prevention.
  5. Abstracts due by 5pm, 31st August.

Invited Speakers

Prof Sharon Naismith, University of Sydney
Prof Sharon Naismith is a Clinical Neuropsychologist, NHMRC Dementia Leadership Fellow and holds the Leonard P Ullman Chair in Psychology at the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney. She also Heads the Healthy Brain Ageing Program at the Brain and Mind Centre, a one-of-its-kind early intervention research clinic for dementia.

Prof Karen Charlton, University of Wollongong
Karen’s research investigates the role of diet on cardiovascular health and cognitive function in older adults, with a focus on flavonoids found in plant foods. Her work influences policy and practice, particularly population-level salt reduction in low-middle income countries.

Dr Maree Farrow, University of Tasmania
Dr Maree Farrow is a cognitive neuroscientist and the Senior Academic Lead for Dementia MOOCs at the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre. Her research focus is learning better ways to educate people in the community about how they can reduce their risk of dementia.

Dr Belinda Brown, Murdoch University
Dr Belinda Brown’s research is primarily focused on understanding the role of lifestyle in maintaining a healthy ageing brain and preventing cognitive decline and dementia. Her previous work has identified a role of physical activity in: reducing toxic brain proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, enhancing cognitive function, and maintaining brain volume.

Dr Amit Lampit, University of Melbourne
Dr Lampit is clinical neuroscientist specialising in cognitive training across the lifespan and brain disorders, clinical trials and research synthesis. He is a CR Roper Senior Research Fellow and co-leader of the Cognitive Interventions, Technologies and Evaluation Group at the Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age, and holds dual appointments at the Department of Neurology, Charité University Hospital Berlin and the Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University.

Keynote Address

Professor Laura D. Baker
We are very excited and honoured to announce that Professor Laura D. Baker will be providing the keynote address. Professor of Internal Medicine, Neurology, and Public Health Sciences at Wake Forest School of Medicine, and the Associate Director of the Wake Forest Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Professor Baker is an international leader in the areas of cognitive aging and lifestyle interventions to protect brain health and prevent cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Professor Baker has been an investigator of over 55 research studies on aging and Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment. One study that will finish next year, referred to as “EXERT,” is a large multi-site randomized clinical trial testing whether aerobic exercise might be medicine to protect against cognitive decline in adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Professor Baker is also the lead Principal Investigator of the large multi-site study supported by the Alzheimer’s Association that is testing whether a change in lifestyle can protect cognitive function in Americans who may be at risk for memory decline in the future. This study, called “U.S. POINTER” is part of a global consortium of other similar studies now being conducted in over 25 countries.

Back and Neck Pain Forum

Please follow this link to the Back & Neck Pain Forum official webpage!



Second International Motor Impairment Conference 2021

Second International Motor Impairment Conference Online 2021

16 – 19 November 2021 (AEDT)

16 – 18 November 2021 (UTC/GMT)



Following the success of the First International Motor Impairment Conference in Sydney, Australia (in 2018) we are pleased to announce that the Second International Motor Impairment Conference will be held online 16 – 19 November 2021 (AEST).

Six 2 hour sessions are being organized to suit contributors from various time zones. The goal of these meetings is to better understand the pathophysiology of Motor Impairment, to implement interventions, and to drive enhanced clinical practice. Much is still unknown about fundamental mechanisms of Motor Impairment, and about its prevention and treatment.

Please visit the conference website to register and submit your abstract.

Cost: AU$50 (+admin fee) which includes:

  • Attendance at all six sessions;
  • Inclusion of Abstract in the conference Abstract book (subject to Scientific Conference Committee approval);
  • If Abstract is selected by the Scientific Conference Committee, a 10 minute (+5 minute Q&A) speaking position in the Conference Programme.


Bringing together the brightest minds working on Motor Impairment from all over the world.

NeuRA Seminar Series 2021

The NeuRA Seminar Series aims to provide the opportunity to listen to interesting and leading research across all fields of neuroscience.

Presenters will include a mix of NeuRA-based scientists, as well as invited presentations from external domestic and international scientific experts.

The presentations are generally held every Friday at 12 noon for around one hour. The presentations aim to run for one hour. These seminars will now be presented so you can enjoy them via the internet using ZOOM, the link needed to join will be provided each week in the email.

If you are interested in attending these seminars and wish to be added to the regular email mailing list, please fill out the form.


Date Speaker  Position/Institution  Topic Speaker 1 Topic Speaker 2
12-Feb-21 1) Jan Fullerton 1) Fullerton Group The complexities of risk in bipolar disorder: genomics and beyond
26-Feb-21 1) Kevin Ng 1) Birznieks Group Time-based encoding of touch information in afferents
12-Mar-21 1) Simon Gandevia 1) Gandevia Group Research Quality and Reproducibility:  Why you should be worried and what you can do about it.
19-Mar-21 Prof Eva Kimonis UNSW, School of Psychology Emotional Processing Patterns Distinguish Subtypes of Childhood Conduct Problems 
26-Mar-21 1) Phillip Cheng 1) Gatt Group Coping and impact on wellbeing during COVID in 1749 youth across Australia and the USA
9-Apr-21 1) Miranda Chilver 1) Gatt Group Electrophysiological markers of mental wellbeing
16-Apr-21 A/Prof Michael Sughrue Co-founder and CEO, Omniscient Neurotechnology Connectomics – Turning your centre into a precision brain medicine institution
23-Apr-21 1) Ben Tong 1) Eckert Group Efficacy of a novel oral appliance and the influence of nasal resistance and OSA pathophysiological traits on treatment response
7-May-21 1) Louise Lavrencic with co-speaker Terry Donovan, 2) Haeme Park 1) Radford Group; 2) Gatt Group Ngarraanga Giinganay (‘thinking peacefully’): A culturally-grounded mindfulness-based stress reduction program co-designed with older Aboriginal people Grey matter morphometry and the role of emotion reappraisal in mental wellbeing and resilience after early life stress exposure
21-May-21 1) Patrick Skippen 1) Schabrun Group Cognitive mechanisms in inhibition: Stopping yourself starts with attention
28-May-21 Prof Kimberlie Dean School of Psychiatry, UNSW How early does ‘early intervention’ need to be? The association between mental health problems and risk of criminal justice system contact in childhood
4-Jun-21 Reconciliation Week Talk Reconciliation Week Talk NeuRA National Reconciliation Week Seminar: More than a word – time for a conversation about reconciliation. Hosted by the NeuRA Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group
18-Jun-21 1) Kerith-Rae Dias 1) Roscioli Group Identifying new genes in neurocognitive disorders
2-Jul-21 1) Steve Kassem; 2) Ying Xu 1) Paxinos Group; 2) Peters Group Trepanning to MRI a brief look at the dynamic history of neuroanatomy Left ventricular hypertrophy and incident cognitive impairment in elderly hypertensive patients.
9-Jul-21 NeuRA NAIDOC Week Aboriginal Health Research Showcase NeuRA Our team will provide a set of 3-4 pre-recorded talks to share during the seminar time slot, followed by a panel discuss for live Q&A. “NeuRA NAIDOC Week Aboriginal Health Research Showcase” followed by live Q&A led by the Our MOB (Mind Our Brain) Study team
16-Jul-21 1) Adam Lawther 1) Walker Group Targeting neuroinflammation to treat cancer-induced anxiety and depression
23-Jul-21 Prof Maree Hackett George Institute Stroke and Depression – moving the ambulance to the top of the cliff
30-Jul-21 1) Nahian Chowdhury; 2) Abhijit Das 1) Schabrun Group; 2) Rae Group 1) Using non-invasive brain stimulation to understand the mechanisms for pain 2)Investigating the role of proline in brain metabolism.
13-Aug-21 1) Tom Whyte 1) Brown Group Neck injury risk from diving into foam pits: Considerations for trampoline park safety
27-Aug-21 NeuRA Wear It Purple Event – LGBTQ+ in Research Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee Panel discussion with students and researchers on being LGBTQ+ in STEMM fields.
3-Sep-21 Dr Stephanie Ward Centre for Health Brain Ageing (CHeBA) and UNSW Aspirin and Ageing: Dissolving (or resolving?) associations with Cognition
17-Sep-21 1) Brian Chow 1) Herbert Group; Scaling of human muscle architecture with growth
24-Sep-21 1) Naqash Afzal 1) Birznieks Group Friction sensing mechanisms for perception and its role in object manipulation
1-Oct-21 Prof Christos Pantelis University of Melbourne Mapping brain changes in schizophrenia: From bedside to bench
8-Oct-21 ILP Student Presentations
22-Oct-21 Honours Student Presentations
29-Oct-21 Dr Karen Krukowski University of Denver Reversal of Trauma- and Age-Related Memory Loss
12-Nov-21 Milena Katz Peters Group Ageing, diet and inflammation: An Australian perspective.
19-Nov-21 Alastair Loutit Birznieks Group; Afferent responses and perception of hand-object interactions
26-Nov-21 Simon Gandevia Gandevia Group NeuRA’s Quality Output Checklist and Content Assessment (QuOCCA): What is it and why is it important?
3-Dec-21 1) Martin Héroux; 2) Edel O’Hagan 1) Gandevia Group; 2) McAuley Group


Primary contacts

Dr Justine Gatt (

Dr Jasmine Menant (

Dr Steve Kassem (

Dr Adam Walker (

Dr Adam Lawther (

Dr Moyra Mortby (

Dr Bart Bolsterlee (

A/Prof David Seminowicz (

Sensorimotor Control Meeting


We are pleased to announce that the Sensorimotor Control Meeting for 2020 will be held on the afternoon of Thursday 10 December 2020.

Time: 12:30pm

Location: The Meeting will be held via Zoom.

Cost: This meeting is free to attend.

Registration:  Use the button below to register.

Further info: Presentations will be by PhD and other students, and also post-docs.

**Note that scientists of all levels are welcome to attend to watch and participate in question time**

Abstract Book


Register for the Meeting


Visit the meeting website


Exercise To Prevent Falls in Older Adults Workshop

Exercise To Prevent Falls in Older Adults

Date: Saturday 7th March 2020

Time: 9am – 5pm

Location: NeuRA – 139 Barker st, Randwick NSW 2031


Who is this course for? 

For fitness leaders working with older adults. This workshop will help you tailor exercise programs for falls prevention.


About this course:

CECs: 6

This continuing education program will equip Fitness Professionals with important information to guide the provision of appropriate falls prevention physical activity and exercise programs for older people. Topics to be covered include the social and economic issues of falls, risk factors for falls, physiological consequences of ageing, biomechanical and physiological principles of balance, and effective falls prevention strategies.

In undertaking the program, participants will be trained to develop safe and efficacious community exercise programs for older adults that are designed in a manner to maximise uptake and adherence of those populations who stand to most benefit from exercise. Through structured learning tasks across a number of different learning formats, participants will acquire the knowledge and ability to identify, develop, demonstrate and implement evidence-based exercise interventions designed to enhance physical and functional capacity and prevent falls and fall related injury.


This workshop includes: 

-An overview of the issue of falls in older people

-Understanding balance and ageing

-Evidence-based fall prevention interventions

-Developing fall prevention programs


Ticket cost:

$150 including tax, lunch and refreshments. Places are limited.

For further information contact Natassia Smith:








Dr Daina Sturnieks (Neuroscience Research Australia, UNSW Medicine) –

Dr Sturnieks has a PhD in human biomechanics (UWA). She is Laboratory Manager for the Falls, Balance and Injury Research Centre at NeuRA including a new state-of-the-art Balance and Gait Analysis Laboratory. Her research focuses on understanding biomechanical, sensorimotor and neurocognitive contributions to balance and falls in older people and clinical groups, and randomised controlled trials of novel interventions to prevent falls involving balance, stepping and cognitive training. Dr Sturnieks is active in translating research findings into community, aged care and hospital settings and is Executive Board Member of the Australian and New Zealand Falls Prevention Society.




Sally Castell (Movement Matters) – 

Sally Castell who is the owner and manager of Movement Matters has a physiotherapy, recreational therapy, health promotion and community education background and is a registered fitness leader. She has over 40 years of experience in the health / fitness industry having worked in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, sports clinics, community facilities and retirement centres. Sally is now focusing her expertise and energy to provide support to the older adult with a variety of appropriate exercise programs and resources to suit individual needs and abilities.









Ms Natassia Smith (Neuroscience Research Australia) –

Natassia Smith is a  Research Assistant at Neuroscience Research Australia, working in Dr Daina Sturneiks team at the Falls, Balance and Injury Research Centre.







For more information contact Natassia Smith: