April - May 2016 |

Registrations are now open!

Dear colleagues,

Plasticity of the Brain and Mind is this year's APRU Conference theme.

Hosted by the University of Auckland's Centre for Brain Research and held in the stunning country of New Zealand, Brain and Mind Research (BMAP) 2016 will be taking place from 23-25 August.

The opening ceremony will take place on 23 August, from 6-9pm.

This year's topics include;

  • Molecular neurobiology
  • Genetics and neuroimaging
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Clinical neuroscience
  • Sensory neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience

Registration and abstract submission are now open. To register and/or submit an abstract click here. Abstract submission will close on Sunday 31 July 2016.

Full registration: $575
Student registration: $250
Day registration: $300
Conference dinner:$100

For additional information on pricing and abstract submission, please contact Mirelle Powell.

BMAP has been timed to allow delegates to also attend two major conferences in the South Island of New Zealand; the Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research (AWCBR) in Queenstown from 26-31 August and New Zealand Medical Sciences Congress (MedSciNZ) in Nelson from 29-31 August.

For more information on BMAP, AWCBR and MedSciNZ events, please email Frankie Favero.




Your hosts,

Associate Professor Maurice Curtis and Distinguished Professor Richard Faull

and organizing committee;

Associate Professor Paul Corballis
Dr Justin Dean
Dr Dean Robinson

Centre for Brain Research

Internationally renowned speakers


Hosted by Associate Professor Maurice Curtis, This year's BMAP has keynote speakers from centers of research excellence in Europe, the United States and New Zealand.


Dr Mary Pat McAndrews

Dr McAndrews is a Senior Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute (University Health Network, Toronto) and a Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto.

Her research seeks to understand the brain networks contributing to different types of memory processes and how these can be disturbed and/or reorganized by focal brain damage in temporal lobe epilepsy, mild cognitive impairment and following gamma radiation to areas of the brain.

Using fMRI, Dr McAndrews has examined brain networks in chronic neurologic conditions and surgical interventions. More recently she has been using surface EEG, electrical recording of neuronal signals in epilepsy patients and electrical stimulation in patients with deep brain stimulation or intracranial electrodes. 

Her main objective is to provide clinically useful information that can be applied in epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders and other conditions with focal brain damage in the temporal lobes.

Professor Peter Mombaerts

Professor Mombaerts is the Director of the Department of Molecular Neurogenetics at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, and works on the neurobiology of olfaction. His research interests include how each olfactory sensory neuron manages to express just one gene from a repertoire of 1,200 genes.

Professor Stephen Back

Professor Back is an expert in Pediatrics and Neurology at Oregon Health & Science University. He studies the cell and molecular neurobiology, and human pathology, involved in hypoxia-ischemia using cerebral blood flow measurement and definition of chronic lesions by high field MRI. On-going studies focus on the mechanisms of regeneration and repair in chronic white matter injury and the causes of myelination failure.

Dr Jessie Jacobsen

Following the completion of her PhD in Huntington’s disease at The University of Auckland, Jessie received a Neurological Foundation of New Zealand Philip Wrightson Postdoctoral Fellowship to study at the Center for Human Genetic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. During this time she developed an interest in complex genetic disorders, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders.  

After three years in Boston, Jessie returned to New Zealand to begin research into Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Centre for Brain Research. Since then she's been awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship in recognition of her novel contributions to neurodevelopmental disorders.

Professor Stuart Firestein

Professor Firestein is Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, where his laboratory is researching the vertebrate olfactory receptor neuron.

Professor Wickliffe Abraham

Professor Abraham was the founding Director of the Brain Health Research Centre at the University of Otago. He is currently the Co-Director of Brain Research New Zealand (BRNZ), he teaches at the University of Otago and is a Principal Investigator with many decades of expertise in the areas of neural mechanisms of learning, nervous system plasticity, metaplasticity and in the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease.  

Dr Leonardo Belluscio

Dr Belluscio is a senior investigator at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). His current research interests include using molecular and functional techniques to study olfactory neural plasticity associated with circuit development and its repair following disruption.

Associate Professor Paul Corballis

Associate Professor Corballis is a cognitive neuroscientist with research interests in visual perception, attention, and cognition. His research incorporates psychophysical, electrophysiological, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological approaches to study human visual perception, attention, and awareness.

His topics of interest include target selection and distractor suppression in visual search, the functional organisation of the cortical visual system, and the interaction between attention and emotion in young and ageing populations.

Dr Justin Dean

Dr Dean is a developmental neurophysiologist based in the School of Medicine at the University of Auckland, where he has led the Developmental Brain Injury Lab since 2012. Part of his current research program examines how the extracellular matrix of the brain can regulate cellular maturation and plasticity during normal brain development, and how these events can be perturbed in various childhood disorders including premature birth.

Professor Alistair Gunn

Professor Gunn is a paediatrician-scientist who has conducted groundbreaking basic research into ways of identifying compromised fetuses in labour, the mechanisms and treatment of asphyxial brain injury and the mechanisms of life threatening events in infancy. 

Professor Gunn has helped to develop a range of new, clinically relevant and chronically instrumented fetal sheep paradigms to support translation of the team’s findings to clinical practice. His research helped to establish mild cooling as the first ever technique to reduce brain injury due to low oxygen levels at birth.

Professor Donna Rose Addis

Professor Donna Rose Addis is a cognitive neuroscientist based in the School of Psychology, Faculty of Science, at The University of Auckland where she leads the Memory Lab. She is also a Principal Investigator in the Centre for Brain Research and Brain Research New Zealand.

Her research uses neuropsychological and neuroimaging techniques to understand how we remember our pasts and imagine our futures, and how these abilities change with age, dementia and depression.

Professor Addis completed her BA and MA in Psychology at The University of Auckland and her PhD as a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Toronto. Her post-doctoral fellowship was completed at Harvard University. She returned to New Zealand to take up a position as Lecturer at The University of Auckland in 2008; seven years later, at only 38, she was promoted to the position of Professor.

She has secured a number of prestigious grants and prizes, including two Marsden grants, an inaugural Rutherford Discovery Fellowship and the Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize. Most recently, she was awarded the 2015 Young Investigator Awards from the international Cognitive Neuroscience Society (being the first recipient outside of the Northern Hemisphere) as well as the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society.

Olfactory Mini-Symposium


As a part of the BMAP symposium on plasticity of the brain and mind, the program will include a mini symposium focussed on olfaction.

The olfactory system contains valuable lessons in cell connectivity, specialisation, brain plasticity and cell survival. Additionally, the olfactory system is affected first and most severely in some degenerative diseases.

Understanding more about the normal and dysfunctional olfactory system may be important for early disease prevention strategies.

The line up of speakers for this symposium is truly world class and this session is not to be missed. We welcome your participation by presenting a poster or possibly an oral presentation.


If you'd like to present a poster or deliver an oral presentation, email Associate Professor Maurice Curtis now.

Visit the South Island to attend the Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research


BMAP has been timed to allow delegates to also attend the Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research 2016  in Queenstown New Zealand on 27-31 August.

With the stunning winter wonderland that is Queenstown as a backdrop, this conference attracts participants from Australia, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and North America. All attendees are encouraged to present a paper as the hosts will generate symposia to accommodate presenters.

The main purpose of this event is to encourage interaction between a wide range of academic and clinical brain research disciplines including anatomy, biochemistry, kinesiology, neural modelling, neurology, pharmacology, physiology and psychology. 

The deadline for abstract submission and Early-Bird registration is Friday 8 July, after which the Standard registration fee applies.

Abstracts will be accepted only if accompanied by the appropriate registration fee, which covers entry to all scientific sessions of AWCBR.

Should you wish to organise a symposium on a topic of your interest, please contact AWCBR as soon as possible.

Standard registrations will be accepted up to Monday 15 August.

Dates: 27-31 August 2016

Website: AWCBR

Venue: Crowne Plaza Queenstown

How to get there: Air New Zealand

Bookings and inquiries: Email organisers

Auckland, New Zealand's City of Sails

City of Sails

Auckland or Tāmaki Makaurau, as named originally by the local Māori Iwi (tribe), is New Zealand’s largest city and economic capital.

Set amongst volcanic islands, 'Pōhutukawa' trees (Metrosideros excelsa), and the pristine blue waters of the Hauraki Gulf, it’s easy to see why New Zealanders call Auckland the "City of Sails", as the Waitematā Harbour hosts year-round nautical activities, including many high-profile regattas such as the America's Cup and Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta.

Whilst you're here, we invite you to visit the vibrant multi-cultural markets and savour the scrumptious Pacific Rim cuisine at one of the city's many award-winning restaurants. Alternatively, if you'd like to discover Auckland's invigorating wildlife; you may start by exploring the luscious and wind-swept west coast and hike along black volcanic sand beaches, humid rainforest trails and stunning clifftops. 

Auckland also has several pictoresque islands within short distance of the city center. Waiheke Island is known for its acclaimed wineries, restaurants and breathtaking natural beauty. Tiritiri Matangi island is one of the biggest open bird sanctuaries in the world. Rangitoto is a volcanic island with an impressive and challenging hiking circuit.

You can organise day trips and access all of these islands by ferry from the Auckland Ferry Terminal in the heart of the city. We invite you to view the Fullers website to view timetables and destinations.

Whilst visiting the "Little Big City" (as the locals affectionately call it), we recommend you book your accommodation at The Langham Auckland. This luxury and heritage hotel is located within walking distance to the symposium venue.

For a complete guide to Auckland and the rest of this beautiful country, visit the Tourism New Zealand website.