Seminars and Events

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

Causal Inference from pragmatic trials and observational data – Sydney 2019

This 3 day course introduces concepts and methods for causal inference from pragmatic trials and observational data. Topics include: an introduction to causal inference, DAGs, causal inference from pragmatic trials and the assessment of comparative effectiveness and safety using routinely collected data in healthcare settings. Upon completion of the course, attendees will be prepared to further explore the causal inference literature and apply the principles to their research.

NSW Falls Prevention Network Forum 2019

Active Ageing

New Ways to Prevent and Treat Back Pain – CANCELLED


Join speakers from Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), who will discuss the latest research in pain and the link with the brain.

New research shows that there are changes in the brain when someone has pain for a long time. Using this knowledge of the brain and how it changes with pain, researchers have developed new treatments for chronic low back pain that target how the brain and central nervous system process sensory information to produce pain. The seminar will include the latest findings and treatments aiming to reduce low back pain by targeting the brain, specifically for those with chronic back pain.



Associate Professor James McAuley – Senior Research Scientist 

Edel O’Hagan – Physiotherapist and Scientist 
Myths about low back pain

Matthew Bagg  – Physiotherapist and Scientist 
Pain, the brain and the back

Aidan Cashin – Exercise Physiologist and Scientist 
Moving forward with back pain


The seminar is free but bookings are required by contacting 9399 1627 or email

PhD Completion Seminars 2019

The NeuRA PhD Completion Seminar series provides an opportunity to hear from completing PhD students and celebrate their success.

Date Speaker Group Title
20th Feb Sophie Carter Prof Danny Eckert Novel respiratory phenotyping to determine the effects of zopiclone on obstructive sleep apnoea
20th Feb Harrison Finn A/Prof Janet Taylor Sensory feedback during exercise contributes to fatigue by inhibiting the nervous system
6th Mar Muntaseer Mahfuz A/Prof Americo Migliaccio Examining Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex Plasticity Using Incremental Adaptation Training
6th Mar Christin Weissleder Prof Cyndi Shannon Weickert TBA
29th May Samantha Owens Prof Cyndi Shannon Weickert TBA
29th May David Lloyd Prof Cyndi Shannon Weickert TBA

Dr Jasmine Menant – phone: +61 2 9399 1267 or email:

Location: John and Betty Lynch Seminar Room, Level 3, NeuRA, followed by a celebratory lunch in the cafe.

14th GeneMappers Conference 2019


Join us for the 14th GeneMappers Conference on the 20-22nd November 2019!  

The 2019 GeneMappers meeting will be a very special event, being the 20th anniversary of the first meeting which was held in Thredbo, New South Wales in 1999. Thus the meeting is returning to New South Wales this year, with a beautiful venue on Sydney harbour foreshore in Manly, around 30 minutes from Sydney City, and an attractive historic site.  Registration links are below.

Venue: Q station, Sydney Harbour National Park, Manly, NSW



Preliminary Schedule & Key Dates

20 May 2019 – Abstract submission, early bird registration & accommodation bookings open

15 August 2019 – Abstract submission & early bird registration close

16 August 2019 – Regular registration available

20 November 2019 – Conference starts


Preliminary Schedule


20th November

  • Lunch from 12pm
  • Conference Welcome
  • Talk Session 1
  • Afternoon tea
  • Talk Session 2
  • Evening Networking Function (5.30-8.30pm, includes drink service and nibbles)

21st November

  • Breakfast from 7am if staying on-site
  • Optional early morning kayak
  • Talk session 3
  • Morning tea
  • Talk session 4
  • Lunch
  • Talk session 5 + 6
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Poster viewing session (5-6.30pm, includes drink service & nibbles)

Dinner bookings can be made onsite for Boilerhouse Restaurant, pop into Engine Room Bar or book a “Ghosty Dine” package with Q Station.

22nd November

  • Breakfast from 7am if staying on-site
  • Talk session 8
  • Morning Tea
  • Talk session 9
  • Lunch
  • Awards & Conference close early afternoon (TBC)


















Registration & Accommodation Bookings


Registration & Accomodation Bookings (with 10% GST)

Cost of registration includes: access to all scheduled talks across the 3 days, attendance at networking function on opening night (includes drink tickets & finger food), attendance at poster viewing evening (includes wine & cheese/nibbles), full access to exhibition space & exhibitor stalls, lunch on 3 conference days and four morning/afternoon teas.



Early-bird registration (before 15/8/2019)

Regular registration (16/8/2019-31/10/2019)

Bookings Link


$540 + $54 GST = $594 $740 + $74 GST = $814

Junior post-doc <10 yrs since PhD

$432 + $43.20 GST = $475.20 $632 + $63.20 GST = $695.20


$324 + $32.40 GST = $356.40 $524 + $52.40 GST = $576.40

Single day

$370 + $37 GST = $407 $370 + $37 GST = $407

Trade exhibitor/sponsor

$540 + $54 GST = $594 $740 + $74 GST = $814



* Late registrations after 31 October 2019 are possible via special request







For further information and late registration requests please contact:


Speaker Lineup & Themes


2019 Conference Themes

Analysis of rare variants, Mendelian traits and families

Biobank studies


Gene expression & functional genomics

Population genetics

 Translation into clinical practice





Cathryn Lewis, King’s College London, UK

Cathryn Lewis is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology & Statistics at King’s College London, where she leads the Statistical Genetics Unit.  Her academic training is in mathematics and statistics, and she has been involved in genetic studies since her PhD. She co-chairs the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Major Depressive Disorder Working group, and leads the NIHR Maudsley BRC Biomarkers and Genomics theme. Her multi-disciplinary research group identifies and characterises genetic variants conferring risk of disease, including depression, schizophrenia, and stroke. A major focus is risk assessment, determining how the polygenic component of mental health disorders can be measured accurately and communicated effectively.
Mike Boehnke, University of Michigan, USA


Michael Boehnke is the Richard G. Cornell Distinguished University Professor of Biostatistics and Director of the University of Michigan Center for Statistical Genetics and Genome Science Training Program. Dr. Boehnke’s research focuses on problems of study design and statistical analysis of human genetic data with a particular emphasis on development and application of statistical methods for human gene mapping, with a current focus on disease and trait association studies based on genome sequence and genotype-array data. He is principal investigator of the Finland-United States Investigation of NIDDM (FUSION) study of the genetics of type 2 diabetes, the GoT2D and T2D-GENES type 2 diabetes sequencing studies, and the BRIDGES and InPSYght sequencing studies of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Cornelia van Duijn, University of Oxford, UK  

Cornelia M van Duijn is Professor of Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Population Health at The University of Oxford, UK.  She is based at the Oxford Big Data Institute where she integrates large-scale (epi)genetic, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic and microbiome data of epidemiological cohorts with that of brain imaging and cellular models. Cornelia’s research focuses on brain and ocular diseases such as Alzheimer disease and glaucoma but her interest spans systemic vascular, endocrine and gastrointestinal pathology that is relevant for brain and ocular function. Before moving to Oxford, Cornelia was head of Genetic Epidemiology of the Erasmus University Medical Centre and director of the international education and training program in genetic epidemiology. In 2016, she was co-appointed at the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research (LACDR) as a Professor of Translational Epidemiology.



Stephen Leslie, University of Melbourne




Associate Professor Stephen Leslie is a statistician working in the field of mathematical genetics.  He obtained his doctorate from the Department of Statistics, University of Oxford in 2008.  After graduating Stephen was a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Statistics at Oxford.  He was awarded one of Oxford’s prestigious Nuffield Department of Medicine Scientific Leadership Fellowships.  In 2012 Stephen returned to Australia to establish his own research group.  Since 2016 Stephen has been Associate Professor of Statistical Genomics at the University of Melbourne.  In 2016 Stephen was awarded the Woodward Medal by the University of Melbourne, the University’s highest award for research by faculty. In 2019 Stephen was awarded the Moran Medal of the Australian Academy of Science.

Stephen’s work covers several aspects of statistical and population genetics.  His main interests are in detecting and controlling for population differences in genetic data; typing complex genetic variation, with a particular focus on immune-associated loci; and performing statistically rigorous analyses of the relationship of genetic variants to disease.

Alistair Forrest, University of Western Australia, Perth

Professor Alistair Forrest is an NHMRC senior research fellow and head of the systems biology and genomics lab at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Western Australia. He is an expert in transcriptomics, and as scientific coordinator of FANTOM5, led the international consortium to globally map human promoters, enhancers, microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs using Cap Analysis of Gene Expression and RNA-seq. He researches broadly in the areas of genomics, transcriptomics and systems biology, and is interested in describing the biological components encoded in our genomes and how they work together in systems. His lab has two major research streams: single cell analysis of tumours (he leads the Western Australian cancer single cell consortium and the ACRF Centre for Advanced Cancer genomics); and mapping enhancers of known Mendelian disease genes and assessing their role in genetic disease. The common thread between these streams is application of genome wide measurements and integrative analysis.
Sarah Medland, QIMR, Brisbane  


Professor Sarah Medland is a statistical geneticist working on mental health and neurological traits. She received her PhD in 2006 from the University of Queensland, followed by a Sidney Sax NHMRC Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Virginia Institute of Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics in USA. She is currently the coordinator of the mental health research program and head of the psychiatric genetics group at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. As chair of the genetics team of ENIGMA neuro-imaging genetics consortium, Sarah has played a leading role in large multi-site studies identifying genetic variants influencing brain structure in healthy and disease-focused cohorts. She is also the PI of nation-wide studies recruiting large cohorts of individuals diagnosed with ADHD, ASD, Bipolar, Depression and Schizophrenia which are seeking to identify genetic variants associated with developing these disorders and variation in treatment response.

Ingrid Scheffer, University of Melbourne, Austin Health & The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melb




Laureate Professor Ingrid Scheffer AO MBBS PhD FAA FAHMS is a physician-scientist whose work as a paediatric neurologist and epileptologist at the University of Melbourne and the Florey Institute has led the field of epilepsy genetics over more than 25 years, in collaboration with Professor Samuel Berkovic and molecular geneticists. This resulted in identification of the first epilepsy gene and many genes subsequently. Her major interests are in the genetics of the epilepsies, epilepsy syndromology and classification, and translational research. She collaborates on research on the genetics of speech and language disorders, autism spectrum disorders, cortical malformations and intellectual disability. She led the first major reclassification of the epilepsies in 28 years, published in March 2017, for the International League Against Epilepsy. In 2014, she was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and also as Vice-President and Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. She was a co-recipient of the 2014 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. In 2018 she was elected to the Royal Society (London).


Tony Roscioli, Sydney Children’s Hospital, NSWHealth pathology Randwick & NeuRA





A/Professor Tony Roscioli is a clinical geneticist at Sydney Children’s Hospital, senior staff specialist in genomic pathology at NSWHEALTH pathology Randwick, and Group leader in Neurogenomics at NeuRA, University of New South Wales. His research interests in gene identification, with a focus on disorders of neuronal migration, intellectual disability (ID) and craniosynostosis/orofacial clefting, have stemmed from clinical training in the field of developmental anomalies/congenital malformations. A/Prof Roscioli was awarded an NHMRC Overseas Biomedical Postdoctoral Fellowship, taking him to Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in The Netherlands, where he received valuable training in genomic medicine. Gene identification has subsequently been a major research emphasis, culminating in 24 disease gene identifications and 6 Nature Genetics papers. He has worked in translational genomics in Sydney since 2012, guiding two laboratories to clinical accreditation, designing practical genomic consent forms, and co-ordinating genomic education for professionals. He was recently awarded a fellowship of the UK College of Pathologists and leads a Centre of Research Excellence and Australian Genomics Health Alliance flagship in neurocognitive disorders as well as the SPHERE initiative, GenomeConnect.







Additional speakers:

Nick Martin (QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute) & Eric Moses (Curtin University & University of Western Australia) will be presenting a “genemappers retrospective” with John Blangero (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)




Meeting Sponsors:


Gold Sponsorship





Silver Sponsorship







Coffee sponsor:



2019 Organising Committee

Co-convenor: Jan Fullerton (Neuroscience Research Australia)
Co-convenor: Carol Dobson-Stone (University of Sydney)
Co-convenor  Joseph Powell (Garvan Institute)
Peter Schofield (Neuroscience Research Australia)
Marina Kennerson (ANZAC Research Institute & University of Sydney)
Irina Voineagu (University of New South Wales)
Georgia Chenevix-Trench (QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute)
Nick Martin (QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute)
Lyn Griffiths (Queensland University of Technology)
Stuart MacGregor (QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute)
David Evans (University of Queensland Diamantina Institute)
Melanie Bahlo (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute)
Justin Rubio (University of Melbourne)
Eric Moses (Curtin University & University of Western Australia)
Nicola Armstrong (Murdoch University)
Jac Charlesworth (University of Tasmania)
Alex Hewitt (University of Tasmania)

Location Map:

NeuRA Sensorimotor Seminars 2019

The NeuRA Sensation Movement Balance & Falls Research Theme regularly hosts specialised Sensorimotor Control Seminars. All Seminars start at 10am.  Seminars are open to NeuRA staff and external collaborators.




Date Presenter Group Title / Theme
Feb 15 Jim Nuzzo Taylor Reproducibility of measures of muscle strength and voluntary activation.
Mar 1 Prof Betti Wollesen Delbaere Effects of a dual task managing intervention to improve walking performance of older adults
Mar 15 Ludovico Messineo Eckert Obstructive sleep apnoea predictors and therapeutic advancements
Mar 29 Paulo Pelicioni Lord Insights into the cortical control of balance during choice-stepping reaction time tasks: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study
Apr 12 Marty Héroux Gandevia Perceiving what you grasp, and grasping what you perceive
May 3 Carlo Rinaudo Migliaccio Do sinusoidal gaze stabilising exercises result in adaptation of the high frequency head impulse vestibulo-ocular reflex?
May 10 Hanna Hensen Eckert Sleep apnoea in multiple sclerosis: Prevalence and pathophysiological traits
May 24 Lewis Ingram Gandevia Quantifying upper limb motor impairment in people with multiple sclerosis
June 7 Jasmine Menant Lord Dizziness burden in middle-aged and older people: key risk factors and interventions
June 21 Adam Martinac Bilston Computational modelling of tracer movement in perivascular spaces
July 5 Nipuna Cooray Brown Developing a digital behaviour change intervention as a mobile app for parents to prevent fall-related injuries of infants
July 19 Dr Tatsuya Hirase Lord Effects of a psychosocial intervention programme combined with exercise in community-dwelling older adults with chronic pain: A randomized controlled trial
Aug 2 Bianca Albanese Brown Influence of child restraint design features on correct use
Aug 16 Aidan Cashin McAuley Current status and trends in low back pain research: a scoping review of the Physiotherapy Evidence Database
Aug 30 Isabella Epiu Butler Reflex responses to airway occlusion in inspiratory muscles in COPD and age-matched participants
Sept 13 ILP students 3 minute theses
Sept 27 Annie Butler Gandevia Perceptions of weight
Oct 11 Ben Tong Eckert Oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnoea
Oct 25 Mae Lim Delbaere Health literacy and fear of falling
Nov 8 Lauriane Jugé Bilston Novel biomarkers to identify causes of brain ventricular dilation
Nov 22 Richard Lim Eckert Pharmacological targets for improved upper airway function in obstructive sleep apnoea
Dec 6 Christina Norris Close Care of older people in surgery


Primary contact

Dr Bart Bolsterlee (E:


NeuRA, Level 3 John and Betty Lynch Seminar Room

NeuRA Invited Seminar Series 2019

The NeuRA Invited Lecture series aims to attract leading national and international researchers from all fields of neuroscience. This series is open to all NeuRA staff and relevant external groups.

If you are from a relevant external group or individual and would like to sign up to Invited Series Seminar emails, please fill out the form.


Date Speaker Position/Institution Topic
22nd of Feb Prof Bernard Balleine UNSW, Decision Neuroscience Lab Interaction of the corticostriatal and thalamostriatal networks in goal-directed action
29th of Mar Prof Nicola Lautenshlager University of Melbourne Physical activity for cognitive health: what can we tell older adults with subjective cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment?
3rd of May Prof Fernando Calamante Director, Sydney Imaging, University of Sydney Diffusion MRI fibre-tracking: a non-invasive window to the brain’s wiring
31st of May Prof Steven Petrou Director, The Florey Institute Opportunities for intervention in rare neurogenetic disorders
21st of Jun Dr Francesco Papaleo Italian Institute of Technology, Genova, Italy Perinatal oxytocin to ameliorate altered developmental trajectories in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome
26th of Jul Prof Jacqui Close Group Leader, NeuRA Preventing falls and preserving function in people with dementia – a tailored approach to intervention
30th of Aug Prof Tom Johnstone Director of Neuroimaging, School of Health Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology Concurrent EEG-fMRI reveals rapid, cortically distributed neural representations of personal relevance of faces that precede structural encoding
27th of Sep Prof Peter Catcheside College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University TBC
25th of Oct Dr Ruth Peters Group Leader, NeuRA An up to date overview of blood pressure, blood pressure lowering and risk of dementia
29th of Nov A/Prof Erica Sloan Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California Los Angeles TBC

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:

Scientia Prof George Paxinos AO (T: +612 93991094 E:

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

Dr Steve Kassem (T: +612 9399 1037 E:


NeuRA, Level 3 John and Betty Lynch Seminar Room

First International Motor Impairment Conference 2018

Professor Simon Gandevia, Deputy Director at NeuRA announced that NeuRA will host the first International Motor Impairment Conference in Sydney Australia. Nov 26th-28th.

SPHERE Clinical Genomics Course

This 3 day workshop is designed for consultants in genetics and medicine, medical/genetic trainees, scientists and genetic counsellors.