Faculty of Health

Leading neuroscience minds flock to Hobart

Around 800 scientists and clinicians gathered in Hobart recently for the 2016 Australasian Neuroscience Society Annual Scientific Meeting. The Australasian Neuroscience Society Meeting is the peak organisation representing neuroscientists across Australia and New Zealand.

Hosted by the University of Tasmania, the major international symposium provided insight into the latest in brain research featuring presentations by many outstanding international and national neuroscientists, and also featured local University of Tasmania researchers.

The meeting highlighted major advances in neuroscience research, such as the use of ‘optogenetic’ techniques that use light to activate brain receptors and proteins, as well as progress in the development of ‘brain-machine’ interfaces to tackle blindness and paralysis.

The meeting also included the national finals of the Brain Bee Challenge, which saw eight Australian and two New Zealand Year 10 students using their knowledge of the brain, to secure a place in the 2017 International Brain Bee final, in Washington, USA.

The Co-Convenors for the Annual Scientific Meeting were Associate Professor Tracey Dickson and Dr Kaylene Young, of the Menzies Research Institute, and Professor James Vickers, from the Faculty of Health’s Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, retired from his role of President of the Society at the end of the meeting.

The Wicking Centre also hosted the 7th Australian Neurotrauma Symposium as a satellite conference, which included a public forum on the growing concern that traumatic brain injury, such as multiple concussions, and risk of dementia.

The forum featured national and international experts in the field, including Dr Vicky Johnson from the University of Pennsylvania (USA), Associate Professor Dara Dickstein from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USA) and Professor Robert Vink from the University of South Australia.