Brain Day 2019 Event as iCalendar

23 March 2019

10am - 3pm

Venue: Atrium, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Location: 85 Park Rd, Grafton

Host: Centre for Brain Research

Cost: Free

Contact info: Sarah Evans

Contact email:


Brain Day 2018-18

Brain Day 2019

Come along to our Brain Day event on Saturday March 23 which is part of our Brain Awareness Month during March. 

In addition to three public talks followed by audience discussion, Brain Day will feature short talks by a variety of community groups and early career researchers. Visitors can also engage with interactive science displays and learn about the latest research in neuroscience. There will be games and challenges from our popular Being Brainy programme and as activities for young visitors and a science-themed green screen to stretch imaginations.

The Brain Awareness events during March are presented by the Centre for Brain Research, The Neurological Foundation of New Zealand and Brain Research New Zealand.

Brain Day Public talks:

10.30am - "Revolutionising Stroke Rehabilitation"

Professor Cathy Stinear
In this presentation, Cathy Stinear will describe how hospitals are now using biomarkers to choose the right treatments and tailor rehabilitation for individual patients. 

Professor Cathy Stinear is a clinical neuroscientist in the Department of Medicine. Her research focuses on developing tools to predict and promote recovery after stroke.

12noon - "The Magic and Excitement of the Human Brain" 

Sir Richard Faull, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Centre for Brain Research (CBR) will take the audience on a journey of discovery through the wonders and marvels of the human brain. He will highlight how the bequest of post-mortem human brains from families touched by neurological diseases has transformed research in the CBR and enabled researches to do world leading research which has the potential to develop new treatments for brain disease.

Distinguished Professor Sir Richard Faull has been Director of the Centre for Brain Research since its inception in 2009 creating one of the pre-eminent neuroscience research centres in Australasia. Sir Richard has spent 40 years studying neurodegenerative diseases of the human brain and his research achievements have been recognized by several awards including Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, the award of New Zealand’s highest scientific award, the Rutherford Medal, and the Supreme Award in the 2010 World Class New Zealand Awards. He was appointed as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM) for services to medical research in the 2017 New Year Honours. 

1.30-2.30pm - "Migraines and Headaches" 

Professor Debbie Hay

This talk will explain what migraine is, how it affects people, and how badly-needed new treatments are emerging, which is based on the science behind a neuropeptide hormone (CGRP) that controls pain signals.

Debbie Hay is Professor, and a James Cook Fellow. Her research aims to contribute to the development of medicines to treat migraine, and other conditions. She studies the proteins that transmit CGRPs’ pain signals.

11.30am - CBR Celebration Choir performance in the Atrium

The CeleBRation Choir is a social singing group for people with neurological conditions like Stroke or Parkinson’s disease, led by Alison Talmage. Research shows that signing may help to ‘rewire’ the brain after brain injury, and so could help with conditions like Aphasia. The CBR CeleBRation choir sings a variety of songs you are bound to know. 

Brain Day 2018-1

Brain Awareness Month Panel Discussions during March 2019:

Understanding Autism and Learning Differences
March 14
Associate Professor Johanna Montgomery
Associate Professor Johanna Montgomery is Principal Investigator of the Synaptic Function Research Group in the Department of Physiology and Centre for Brain Research. She gained her PhD in Physiology at Otago University, followed by postdoctoral training at Stanford University, USA. Her laboratory combines electrophysiology, molecular biology and imaging techniques to investigate how changes in synapse function underlie developmental and neurodegenerative disorders in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Specifically, her research has a major focus on the underpinnings of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington's Disease, as well as cardiac arrhythmias. Her research is supported by funding from the Marsden Fund, Health Research Council, Auckland Medical Research Foundation, Neurological Foundation, Freemasons Foundation, and Brain Research New Zealand. In 2018 she was awarded the Excellence in Research Award from the Physiological Society of New Zealand.
Associate Professor Karen Waldie
Associate Professor Karen Waldie’s research covers a broad, but interconnected, range of topics within the area of developmental cognitive neuroscience. She is interested in the development of cognitive subsystems within the brain, including language, attention and gene-environment interactions. Of particular interest is atypical functioning of these subsystems in the case of neurodevelopmental disorders, problem behaviour and mental health.  
Dr Jessie Jacobsen
Dr Jessie Jacobsen is a Rutherford Discovey Fellow and Senior Lecturer with an interest in the genetics underlying human conditions and their biological interpretation. She was repatriated from the Center for Human Genetic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School in the USA in 2012 to help establish a genetic research programme for autism spectrum disorder and other rare neurodevelopmental conditions in New Zealand. Dr Jacobsen was a former MacDiarmid Young Scientist of the Year & Auckland University Young Alumna of the Year and was Co-founder of the Minds for Minds autism research network.
Dr Rosamund Hill 
Dr Rosamund Hill is a a neurologist  working at Auckland City Hospital and in private practice with a passion for understanding the ASD condition. She has a son with severe autism. Location: AMRF Theatre, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, 85 Park Rd Grafton

Time: 6pm (doors open), 6.30pm panel discussion, 7.30-8.30pm refreshments
Registrations through Eventbrite

Please make sure you book tickets to avoid disappointment and help us ensure we have the right numbers for catering. 

Please note this event is booked but you can place your name on the Waitling list through Eventbrite.

Is it in our Genes? Neurological Gene Disease, Therapies and the Future
March 21

Professor Russell Snell
Professor Russell Snell is a world renowned geneticist who was involved in isolating the genetics behind Huntington’s Disease (HD) and other genes such as Myotonic Dystrophy and Tuberous Sclerosis. He has a long-term interest in finding human disease genes with a focus on the molecular genetics of disease, in particular neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases like Huntington’s Alzheimer’s and Autism. He develops models of disease which are used in the search for treatments.
Dr Richard Roxburgh
Associate Professor Richard Roxburgh is a neurologist at Auckland City Hospital where he has run the Neurogenetics clinic for 15 years. The emphasis in the clinic is on accurate genetic diagnosis as this may help with treatment here and now, and give patients opportunities to take part in research to find a cure for their disease. To lower the barriers to research involvement he has established both the NZ Neuromuscular Disease Registry and the Motor Neurone Disease Registry. Both of these have successfully allowed enrolment of New Zealand patients in international research. In 2017 he was  appointed Associate Professor at the University of Auckland. He is setting up at the University, the Neurogenetics Research clinic where people with these conditions can participate in research to devise treatments and cures of their diseases. He is currently PI of studies on enzyme replacement in Pompe disease and is the NZ PI for the upcoming Generation-HD study in which treatment aimed at RNA may slow the progression of Huntington's disease. 
Miriam Rodriguez
Miriam Rodrigues is a genetic counsellor working in research and with the neuromuscular disease community.
Ms Jo Dysart
Jo Dysart is a mental health nurse with ADHB. Jo has spent her career looking after and supporting those living with Huntington's Disease, both as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and as Manager for critical social support organisations the Huntington's Disease Association (Auckland). As a central part of the HD Regional Team, Jo and her colleagues visit with and provide vital clinical support to the HD community in the Auckland and Northland regions.Location: AMRF Theatre, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, 85 Park Rd Grafton

Time: 6pm (doors open), 6.30pm panel discussion, 7.30-8.30pm refreshments
Registrations through Eventbrite

Please make sure you book tickets to avoid disappointment and help us ensure we have the right numbers for catering.

Memory and the Ageing Brain
March 28
Associate Professor Lynette Tippett
Dr Lynette Tippett is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology and Dr Lynette Tippett is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology and the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland. She is Director of BRNZ’s newly developing national network of Dementia Prevention Research Clinics, and is co-director of the Auckland clinic alongside geriatrician Dr Phil Wood.   Her research and clinical interests involve neurodegenerative diseases, with a particular focus on mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s Disease and Huntington’s Disease. Lynette’s research is based upon strong links with clinicians, community associations, and multidisciplinary collaborations.  She has explored cognitive, behavioural and emotional changes that accompany these diseases, the relation between memory loss and identity, as well as investigating the underlying reasons for clinical variability between individuals. Current research is also focussed on developing interventions to slow or delay the development of dementia, and enhancing well-being in people with MCI.
Dr Phil Wood
Dr Wood is a geriatric medicine specialist with an interest in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease. Along with Associate Professor Lynette Tippett, Dr Wood is co-director of the Dementia Prevention Research Clinics. Professor Ngaire Kerse
Dr Gary Cheung
Dr Gary Cheung is an old age psychiatrist and clinical rese archer. He currently holds a joint appointment between the University of Auckland and Auckland District Health Board. Dr Cheung co-leads the translation and research of cognitive stimulation therapy (CST), an evidence-based psychosocial treatment for dementia in New Zealand.  He is also a member of the Dementia Prevention Research Clinics, a longitudinal study of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.Dr Phil Wood
Professor Ngaire Kerse
Professor Ngaire Kerse is an international expert in maximizing the health of older people, falls and older people, the impact of physical activity on the development of disability and developing robot technology for older people. She has recently been appointed the inaugural Joyce Cook Chair in Ageing Well.Location: AMRF Theatre, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, 85 Park Rd Grafton

Time: 6pm (doors open), 6.30pm panel discussion, 7.30-8.30pm refreshments
Registrations through Eventbrite

Please make sure you book tickets to avoid disappointment and help us ensure we have the right numbers for catering.

Map directions

Getting here:

The front entrance of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences is located at 85 Park Rd, Grafton. Opposite is Auckland Hospital and the front entrance to the Domain. For those who require wheelchair or mobility access, we have limited parking available. Please contact to reserve.