Centre for Brain Research

CBR news 2012

Keep up to date with Centre for Brain Research news as it happens by joining our blog.

CBR scientists boosted with support from AMRF

The Auckland Medical Research Foundation has announced its latest round of grants, with several innovative projects funded in the Centre for Brain Research. The research will help to develop new treatments for Huntington’s disease, obesity, visual defects, and hearing loss.
21 December 2012

Genetic research hits the global headlines

Research from the CBR has made the international news with advances in genetic therapies for Huntington's disease and Canavan disease.
21 December 2012

Dream money for neuroscience research

Generous donors have kick-started two exciting new neuroscience projects in the Centre for Brain Research. The first donation will enable our NeuroDiscovery Unit (formerly called the Integrative Neuroscience Facilities) to appoint a new Technical Manager.
20 December 2012

Supporting open research values  

The Centre for Brain Research has announced support for New Zealand’s first Open Research Conference. The conference on 6th and 7th February 2013 will explore new, open models of research; where scientists share their research with the world as soon as they record it for themselves.
14 December 2012

Learning from nature’s killing machines

Leading marine researcher Professor John Montgomery has been awarded a prestigious James Cook Research Fellowship from the Royal Society of New Zealand. His research will look at the evolution of a cerebellum-like neuronal machine in shark brains.
14 December 2012

Tuning out tinnitus

An innovative multi-modal treatment programme for tinnitus will be trialled by researchers from the Centre for Brain Research at The University of Auckland, in a study made possible by a donation from Link Research and Grants. The treatment programme will use neuromodulators to “prime” people’s brains to be more responsive to training that may reduce their perception of tinnitus – a sensation of noise in the ears that has no external cause.

From skin cells to new brain cells

Scientists at The University of Auckland’s Centre for Brain Research have succeeded in converting human skin cells directly into immature brain cells, or neural precursor cells. The team, assisted by funding from the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand, the Auckland Medical Research Foundation, and the Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust , has led the world in developing a fast and efficient means of accomplishing this without having to go through the intermediate stage of conversion to embryonic stem cells.

Predicting recovery after stroke

In work that may revolutionise rehabilitation for stroke patients, researchers from The University of Auckland and the Auckland District Health Board have shown it is possible to predict an individual’s potential for recovery of hand and arm function after a stroke. The new approach can be used to personalise rehabilitation so that patients and therapists set realistic goals for recovery. It may also improve outcomes of trials that evaluate new therapies, by identifying patients who are most likely to respond to specific treatments.

Motor Neurone Disease Global Awareness Day

On Motor Neurone Disease Global Awareness Day, the Motor Neurone Disease Association of New Zealand has welcomed two exciting research projects in New Zealand that could shed light on the causes of motor neurone disease (MND). Brain researchers at the Centre for Brain Research at The University of Auckland are looking at why and how the brain and spinal cord cells die in MND; and, in a separate study, Massey University is looking into possible occupational and environmental risk factors that may cause the disease.

CBR’s art/science collaboration ‘Do You Mind?’ gets worldwide audience!

Staged in July/August 2010, ‘Do You Mind?’ was conceived as a way of bringing together emerging artists with scientists from the Centre for Brain Research to produce artworks inspired by science. Now, an article which discusses the results of the collaboration has been published in PLoS (Public Library of Science), a peer-reviewed, open-access online journal.

Questions and answers around stem cell research

The Centre for Brain Research was privileged to host, on Wednesday 6 June, the first New Zealand session of a travelling seminar which began in Australia, called Stem Cells: Hope, Hype, and Progress. Attendees at the seminar, including those suffering from debilitating neurological conditions, were able to a hear a refreshingly honest account of the current state of stem cell research worldwide – free from the sensationalism of those accounts which often feature in the press.

New Research Manager for CBR

Dr Dean Robinson has been appointed as the Research Manager for the Centre for Brain Research. Dean’s role will be to facilitate and expand collaborative research links across the Centre, to assist in the implementation of our strategic research initiatives, to advance research networking and to manage our seminar programme. 16 Apr 2012

Public given a brain workout at Brain Day 2012

Over 3000 people took part in brain fitness activities at Brain Day 2012. Expert lecturers, brain health workshops and interactive science labs provided an insight into the latest research on brain health. The public open day on Saturday 17th March was organised by the Centre for Brain Research in association with the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand. The large capacity at the venue meant that over 1000 people attended lectures every hour, on topics ranging from drug use in pregnancy to internet use and our brains.
21 Mar 2012

Brain Awareness Week – read all about it!

We had a fantastic Brain Awareness Week and you can read here the reviews of the week. We revealed the science behind MRI technology, with the promise of Mind Reading’ as a future possibility. You can view the event here: www.cbr.auckland.ac.nz/mindreading

Read all the media articles on Brain Week here. 19 Mar 2012

Truth or Lie?

This was the critical question answered in the ‘Mind Reading’ event on Wednesday. Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) brain scans, Dr Donna Rose Addis and Associate Professor Brett Cowan were asked to spot which pattern of brain activity looked most like a true memory. The event was organised by the Centre for Brain Research and the Centre for Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CAMRI) at The University of Auckland, as part of Brain Awareness Week. Promising to reveal the science of brain imaging, ‘Mind Reading’ offered an entertaining look at the capabilities of brain imaging thanks to MRI technology. 15 Mar 2012  

Tips for keeping brain-fit at Brain Day

Strong crowds are again expected to attend the brain-fitness themed Brain Day at The University of Auckland on Saturday 17 March. Hosted by the Centre for Brain Research in association with the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand, Brain Day raises awareness of brain research and brain diseases. The open day at the University is part of International Brain Awareness Week, which is organised by the US-based Dana Alliance for Brain Research.
5 Mar 2012

Brain Day 2012 lectures announced

This year the theme for Auckland Brain Day 2012 is ‘brain fitness’. Leading scientists and clinicians from the Centre for Brain Research will present the latest information on topical brain issues. Discussions with community experts provide the opportunity to discover practical tips on living with brain disorders. Meanwhile interactive workshops and hands-on demonstrations will open your eyes to the wonders of the brain.
21 Feb 2012

View presentations from Brain Day 2011 online

Get prepared for Brain Awareness Week 2012 by viewing all our exciting events last year!
21 Feb 2012

Mind Reading? Live brain scan event planned for March 2012

We are proud to announce this exciting event, planned for Brain Awareness Week in March, to uncover the science of brain imaging! Join us as top scientists Associate Professor Brett Cowan and Dr Donna Rose Addis from The University of Auckland showcase the incredible technology of MRI and provide a behind the scenes glimpse of cutting-edge brain research.
13 Jan 2012

Picking the ideal treatment for people with schizophrenia

Patients with schizophrenia could soon be prescribed tailored drugs for their biology, as a new project gets underway in the Centre for Brain Research. Funding from the Auckland Medical Research Foundation has enabled promising Research Fellow Dr Valerie Anderson to undertake the research.
12 January 2012

Promising young brain researcher returns to NZ

Hawkes Bay-born Dr Erin Cawston has been named the 2011 Neurological Foundation Repatriation Fellow. Erin will return from her position as Research Fellow at the Mayo Clinic Arizona next month, in order to further her research into Huntington’s disease at the Centre for Brain Research.
11 January 2012