Seminars and Events

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

The 17th International Forum for Back and Neck Pain Research in Primary care

The members of the local organising committee are pleased to announce that the 17th International Forum for Back and Neck Pain Research in Primary Care will be held 11th to 13th November 2021. For the first time, the Forum will be a global virtual conference. The program will run 8am to 1:30pm in three time zones (Eastern Standard Time, Central European Time and Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time). These three time zones will allow us to cater to our colleagues in North and South America, Europe and Africa, and Asia, Australasia and Pacific.


The theme of Forum XVII, ‘Global’, refers to the global challenge of back and neck pain. Delegates are encouraged to explore new, original ideas that bring researchers, clinicians, policy makers and consumers from around the world together to reduce the global burden of back and neck pain.


Registration allows a delegate to attend all sessions in all three time zones.

Type Cost Registration link
Early-bird registration $A330 GST inc Register here until September 30
Standard registration $A440


If you have an annual gross income of less than $US10,000 you are eligible for a 50% discount on registration. To support delegates from low-income countries to attend the Forum we have reserved twenty free registrations. These will be restricted to people who have an annual gross income of less than $US5,000. Please contact Dr Saurab Sharma for application details (

Submit an abstract

Submission of an abstract acknowledges your acceptance for the abstract to be used at the 17th International Forum for Back and Neck Pain Research in Primary Care. The presenting author is required to ensure that all co-authors are aware of the content of the abstract and agree to its submission, before submitting the abstract. Please follow the link here to submit an abstract.

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 1) Brian Chow; 2) Naqash Afzal 1) Herbert Group; 2) Birznieks Group Scaling of human muscle architecture with growth Friction sensing mechanisms for perception and its role in object manipulation
3-Sep-21 Dr Stephanie Ward UNSW
10-Sep-21 1) Manreena Kaur; 2) Edel O’Hagan 1) Green Group; 2) McAuley Group
24-Sep-21 1) Liz Bye 1) Butler/Gandevia group
1-Oct-21 Prof Christos Pantelis University of Melbourne
8-Oct-21 ILP Student Presentations
22-Oct-21 Honours Student Presentations
5-Nov-21 1) Sonia Hesam Shariati; 2) Jun Cao 1) Fullerton Group; 2) Rae Group The genetic and epigenetic contributors to risk of bipolar disorder A new paradigm for neuroscience: magnetic resonance electric properties tomography
20-Aug-21 Prof Darryl Eyels Queensland Brain Institute
19-Nov-21 1) Alastair Loutit; 2) Milena Katz 1) Birznieks Group; 2) Peters Group Tactile afferent responses to object manipulation
3-Dec-21 1) Martin Héroux; 2) Abhijit Das 1) Gandevia Group; 2) Rae Group
17-Dec-21 1) Bianca Albanese 1) Brown Group Optimal Child Restraint Design to Reduce the Propensity for Misuse


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:







Australasian Vestibular Rehabilitation Conference


We’ve assembled arguably one of the finest list of speakers to present in Australia within the vestibular rehabilitation field. International speakers including Prof Sue Whitney (University of Pittsburgh) and Prof Michael Schubert (The Johns Hopkins University), as well as home grown leaders with Prof Americo Migliaccio and Prof Stephen Lord. The conference is focussed on translating the latest research, much of which is undertaken by the presenters themselves, into usable clinical applications for better patient outcomes.

We have packed in many of the topics in 2.5 days that are frequently requested including advances in VOR adaptation, balance and gait, BPPV and concussion. Additionally we have added a post-conference workshop on vestibular testing, interpretations and case-studies.



Friday 22 May, 9am-6pm

Saturday 23 May, 9am-6pm

Sunday 24 May, 9am-1pm & Workshop 2pm-5pm



NeuRA (Neuroscience Research Australia), 139 Barker Street, Randwick, Sydney NSW 2031 – see Map below


Conference Topics

  • Advances in Vor Adaption 
  • Advances in Gait & Balance Rehabilitation 
  • Advance in BPPV Management 
  • Central Vestibular Conditions & Concussions 


Conference Speakers

Prof Susan Whitney (U.Pittsburgh) 

Prof Michael Schubert (John Hopkins) 

Prof Americo Migliacio (NeuRA) 

Prof Stephen Lord (NeuRA)

& more  


Registration Fee

EARLY BIRD $945 $99 $995
REGULAR $1145 $119 $1195
  • A limited number of 50% discount tickets are available for NeuRA staff and students. Please email Carlo Rinaudo at for discount code  
  • Early bird pricing valid only until April 3, or sold out earlier with limited tickets available







NeuRA Seminar Series 2020

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, in the Level 3 John and Betty Lynch Seminar Room. The presentations aim to run for one hour.

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

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.

Date Speaker Position/Institution Topic
7th of Feb 1. Dr Matt Brodie; 2. Dr Lara Harvey 1. Lord/Delbaere Groups (NeuRA); 2. Close Group (NeuRA) 1. Preventing motor impairment with peripheral nerve stimulation, smart textiles, and mobile technology.

2. The use of the physiological profile assessment to improve the prediction of fragility fractures in community-dwelling older people.

14th of Feb 1. Dr Phu Hoang; 2. Dr Euan McCaughey 1. Lord/Gandevia Groups (NeuRA); 2. Butler Group (NeuRA) 1. Footdrop & ankle contractures and mobility in people with MS.

2. Category two to four funding for early-mid career researchers: an untapped pool?

21st of Feb 1. Lewis Ingram (PhD); 2. Sonia Hesam-Shariati 1. Lord/Gandevia Groups (NeuRA); 2. Fullerton Group (NeuRA) 1. The upper limb Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA): quantifying upper limb motor impairment across the adult lifespan and disease; 2. Role of Epigenetic Contributors in Developing Bipolar Disorder at High Familial Risk
28th of Feb Prof Carol Jagger Newcastle Unversity, UK Understanding past trends in healthy life expectancy and prospects for the future.
6th of Mar 1. Dr Hanna Hensen; 2. Prof Melissa Green 1. Eckert Group (NeuRA); 2. Green Group (NeuRA) 1. Sleep problems in people with multiple sclerosis: rates, mechanisms and consequences; 2. Prenatal infection exposure and risk for early developmental vulnerability and mental illness: evidence from a population study of NSW children
20th of Mar Prof Richard Kemp UNSW The Psychology of eyewitness memory
27th of Mar 1. Paulo Pelicioni (PhD); 2. Mark Kaizik 1. Lord Group (NeuRA); 2. Herbert Group (NeuRA) 1. Do antipsychotics inflame the brain?
3rd of Apr Prof Simon Gandevia Gandevia Group (NeuRA) 1. Identifying the relationship between inflammation and the immune-gut axis in Autism; 2. Dopamine and bad habits: amphetamines, L-dopa and junk food.
10th of Apr Good Friday Good Friday Good Friday
17th of Apr Cancelled Cancelled Cancelled
24th of Apr Cancelled Cancelled Cancelled
1st of May 1. Sophie Carter; 2. Sam Owens 1. Eckert Group (NeuRA); 2. Shannon-Weickert Group (NeuRA) 1. Effects of hypnotics on sleep spindles; 2. Alterations in androgen- and dopamine-related molecules in schizophrenia.
8th of May 1. Nisha Mathew; 2. Teri Furlong 1. Walker Group (NeuRA); 2. Paxinos Group (NeuRA)  1. Effects of hypnotics on sleep spindles; 2. Alterations in androgen- and dopamine-related molecules in schizophrenia
15th of May*

12:30 Start

1. Sophie Andrews; 2. Javad Jamshidi 1. Anstey Group (NeuRA); 2. Gatt/Fullerton Group (NeuRA) 1. The role of automatic habit in physical activity behaviours in older people: A new target for lifestyle interventions for cognitive health?; 2. Diverse phenotypic measurements of wellbeing: Heritability, temporal stability and predictive power of polygenic scores
22nd of May 1. David Nguyen, 2. Miranda Chilver 1. Butler, Gandevia, Hudson Groups (NeuRA)  2. Gatt Group (NeuRA) 1. Neural control of breathing in health, healthy ageing and chronic tetraplegia; 2. EEG profiles as a biomarker of wellbeing: A twin study.
29th of May Prof Chris Rowe Austin Health, Melbourne Amyloid and Tau Imaging Down-Under: The Australian Experience.
5th of Jun Professor/Aunty Kerrie Doyle Chair of the Aboriginal Health & Wellbeing CAG for Maridulu Budyari Gumal (SPHERE) Putuwa and The Forming, Storming, Norming, & Performing of Indigenous Research
12th of Jun 1. Arthur Montalto; 2. Rene Jeżewsk 1. Gatt Group (NeuRA); 2. Sheperd Group (NeuRA) 1. Negative association between the insula and resilience during a continuous performance task: an fMRI twin study; 2. “Limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy in the Sydney Brain Bank”
19th of Jun 1. Martin Heroux; 2. Justine Gatt 1. Gandevia Group (NeuRA); 2. Gatt Group (NeuRA) 1. History-dependence of muscle slack length in humans: effects of contraction intensity, stretch amplitude and time; 2.Our wellbeing research program: Where are we up to?
26th of Jun Fiona Knapman Bilston Group (NeuRA) A novel optical stimulation therapy for obstructive sleep apnea – Preliminary result
3rd of Jul Haeme Park Gatt Group (NeuRA) Associations between mental wellbeing and neural bases of positive emotion recognition in a twin sample using fMRI
10th of Jul Carlo Rinaudo Migliaccio Group (NeuRA) Functional changes after 1 week of VOR adaptation training in vestibular patients
17th of Jul George Paxinos Paxinos Group (NeuRA) Is the brain the right size?
24th of Jul Bill Brooks Schofield Group (NeuRA) Familial Alzheimer’s disease and the DIAN Study: trial results and future plans.
31th of Jul Bart Bolsterlee Herbert Group (NeuRA) Using transverse diffusion to measure changes in muscle fibre number and muscle fibre size during growth in humans.
7th of Aug Yoshiro Okubo Lord Group (NeuRA) Effect of task-specific trip and slip training in people with Multiple Sclerosis
14th of Aug Adam Walker Walker Group (NeuRA) Breast cancer hijacks the brain to cause cognitive impairment
21st of Aug Claire Boswell-Ruys Butler Group (NeuRA) Effect of respiratory muscle training on quality of life, dyspnoea and respiratory symptoms in people with tetraplegia
28th of Aug Moyra Mortby Anstey Group (NeuRA) The BPSDplus Program: efficacy of a novel person-centred care approach to reduce neuropsychiatric symptoms in residents with dementia
4th of Sep Jasmine Menant Lord Group (NeuRA) Visuospatial Working Memory for Safe Obstacle Crossing in Older People
11th of Sep Chris Rowe Austin Health, Melbourne Amyloid and Tau Imaging Down-Under: The Australian Experience.
18th of Sep
25th of Sep Christin Weissleder Shannon Weickert Group (NeuRA) From the lack of new brain cells to increased inflammation in schizophrenia.
2nd of Oct Isabella Epiu Butler Group (NeuRA) Inspiratory muscle responses to airway occlusion in COPD
9th of Oct Lloyd Chan Lord / Brodie Groups (NeuRA) What your walk says about you- prediciting onset of geriatric conditions with gait
16th of Oct ILP 3MT Students
23rd of Oct A/Prof Gideon Caplan Director, Geriatric Medicine, POWH and UNSW Deeper into delirium
30th of Oct Honours Students (10-15min each)
6th of Nov Zoe Djajadikarta Gandevia Group (NeuRA) Impaired central drive to plantarflexors and minimal ankle proprioceptive deficit in people with multiple sclerosis
13rd of Nov Rob Lloyd Bilston Group (NeuRA) Imaging pipeline for magnetic resonance elastography reconstruction of anisotropic tissue
20th of Nov Daina Sturnieks Sturnieks Group (NeuRA) Smart±step: A 3-arm randomised controlled trial of cognitive-only and cognitive-motor training to prevent falls in older people.
27th of Nov Michael Wewege McAuley Group Improving the use of analgesic medicines for low back pain
4th of Dec A/Prof Sevil Yasar Johns Hopkins  From hypertension to antihypertensive medications to the renin angiotensin system in AD
11th of Dec

(EDIC Talk)

Alice Anderson Coordinator for the Inclusive Volunteering Program – Pathways to Employment with The Centre for Volunteering NSW  Inclusion in the workplace for both employees and volunteers.


Primary contacts

Dr Justine Gatt (T: +612 9399 1812 E:

Dr Tertia Purves-Tyson (T: +612 9399 1649 E:

Dr Jasmine Menant (T: +612 9399 1267 E:

Dr Ruth Peters (T: +612 9399 1015 E:

Dr Steve Kassem (T: +612 9399 1128 E:

Dr Adam Walker (T: +612 9399 1026 E:

Dr Moyra Mortby (T: +612 9399 1147 E:

Dr Bart Bolsterlee (T:+612 9399 1832 E:



NeuRA, Level 3 John and Betty Lynch Seminar Room

NSW Falls Prevention Network Forum 2020

NSW Falls Prevention Forum 15th May – Has been Cancelled

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 the face-to-face NSW Falls Prevention Forum to be held at the Wesley Conference Centre on Friday May 15 has been cancelled. Instead, the forum plenary talks will be presented in a free webinar on the morning of the same day.

Please see the webinar program below and register for this event by clicking the button below.

Forum registration fees will be refunded and participants will receive an email from the NSW Falls Prevention Network in the coming week to facilitate this process.
There will no longer be any rural travel grants as their purpose was to facilitate attendance at the Forum.

We hope to conduct the planned Forum concurrent workshops and possibly best practice initiative presentations as future webinars with information regarding these to be provided soon.

Webinar Program – 15 May, 2020

9.15 am Welcome

Session 1
9.20 – 10.00 am
Pam Albany Guest Lecturer: Professor Kaarin Anstey, Senior Principal Research Fellow, NeuRA
How can we delay dementia and promote brain health in older adults?

10.00 – 10.30 am
Professor Jacqueline Close, Geriatrician POWH; Clinical Director, Falls, Balance and Injury Research Centre, NeuRA
Dementia and preventing falls

Break – 10.30 – 11 am

Session 2
11.00 – 11.30 am
A/Professor Anne Tiedemann, Principal Research Fellow, Institute for Musculoskeletal Health, Sydney School of Public Health
Physical activity for healthy ageing: development and evaluation of scalable interventions

11.30 – 12.00 pm
Dr Kim van Schooten, Postdoctoral Fellow, Falls Balance and Injury Research Centre, NeuRA
Technologies for fall prevention

12.00 – 12.30 pm
Scientia Professor Stephen Lord, Senior Principal Research Fellow; Centre Director, Falls Balance and Injury Research Centre, NeuRA
Falls prevention research update

12.30 pm Close

These sessions will be recorded and posted on the website


Register Here



For further details:
Registrations close: 14th May or when fully booked

Enquiries to Cameron Hicks (02) 9399 1063




NSW Falls Prevention Network Webinar: Patient Communication – enhancing safety and person centred care

Focus: Patient Communication – enhancing safety and person centred care with Prof Anne-Marie Hill

Date: 13th November 2019

Time: 2:00 – 3:00pm

Cost: FREE

The NSW Falls Prevention Network is running a webinar with Prof Anne-Marie Hill, information can be found here



Register Here



Donor Morning Tea

Watch the special presentation from NeuRA CEO Professor Peter Schofield AO and guest speaker, Katie Little, daughter of the iconic Jeanne Little.