24 January 2011

The most complicated human organ goes under the microscope in Auckland later this month with the world’s leading brain researchers arriving to attend the annual Australian Neuroscience Society (ANS) Conference.

The conference is being held in New Zealand for the first time in nearly 20 years.

It is being coordinated in conjunction The Universities of Auckland and Otago and the Centre for Brain Research (CBR). It runs from January 31 to February 3 at Sky City.

Topics covered range from understanding brain mechanisms involved in addiction and memory, to new drugs for diseases like stroke and Parkinson’s Disease.

A number of spokespeople are available for comment including:

ANS President Professor Sarah Dunlop and Past-President Professor David Vaney

New Zealand
CBR Director Professor Richard Faull and Professor Louise Nicholson, Chair of the New Zealand conference organising committee.

Speakers of interest:
Tobias Bonhofer, Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Germany
How activity changes synapses in the mammalian brain

Anne Young, Harvard Medical School, US
Neurodegeneration and therapeutic strategies in Parkinson’s Disease.

Mike Dragunow, University of Auckland, NZ
Human brain cell cultures for drug discovery in neurodegenerative disease

Christopher Dayas, University of Newcastle, Australia
Towards an understanding of the brain mechanisms underpinning addiction vulnerability

Martin Lauritzen, The University of Copenhagen, Denmark
How does blood flow relate to brain activity? The big BOLD headache.

Joshua J. Gooley, National University of Singapore & Harvard Medical School, US
The neurochemistry of sleep and circadian rhythms.

Andrew Lawrence, Florey Neuroscience Institutes, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Neurochemistry of addiction

For more information about the conference and the visiting speakers visit http://www.sallyjayconferences.com.au/ans2011/program.html

To arrange interviews please contact:

Laura Fogg, Communications Manager
Centre for Brain Research
T: +649 923 1913
M: +649 (0)21 042 7445
E: l.fogg@auckland.ac.nz

Denise Cullen, Executive Communications Officer
Queensland Brain Institute
T: +617 3346 6434
M: +617 (0) 416 500 598
E: d.cullen2@uq.edu.au