9th November 2015

Members

Executive Committee:
Approved
PhD Candidate - Neuroscience
University of Cape Town
Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health
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Clinical Research Fellow and Medical Student
University of Cape Town
Psychiatry and Mental Health
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Senior Lecturer
Cape Town
Neuroscience Institute
Biography:

My research aims are to understand the neurobiological mechanisms which underlie the diagnosis of schizophrenia - using innovative, interdisciplinary, and translational neuroscience

Description of current research:

Translational neuroscience: bridging the gap between basic and clinical neuroscience in severe mental disorders – including schizophrenia. This is being achieved using basic neuroscience animal models and multi-modal brain imaging techniques in clinical populations.

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Lecturer
Stellenbosch University
Psychiatry
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Lecturer
Stellenbosch University
Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Biography:

I am currently a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Genetics at Stellenbosch University and co-founder of the Systems Genetics Working Group. My work focuses on the molecular etiology and pharmacogenetics of neuropsychiatric disorders.

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PhD
UCT
Psychiatry
Approved
Biography:

I head the Psychiatric Genetics laboratory at the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University. We investigate the molecular aetiology of PTSD and stress-related disorders.

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Lecturer
University of the Witwatersrand
School of Anatomical Sciences
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Retired Senior Scholar/ Research Professor
University of Cape Town / University of KwaZulu-Natal
Human Biology / neuroscience
Biography:

Viv Russell supervised/mentored MSc and PhD students at Stellenbosch, UCT and UKZN. She published 145 papers and is a Fellow of UCT and the Physiological Society of SA. She has contributed to training in neuroscience in Africa and Chairs the IBRO Center for Advanced Training in Neuroscience at UCT

Description of current research:

A study of animal models of brain disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and the effects of stress, alcohol and exercise on the brain

General Members:
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MA Research Consultation (Psychology)
UNISA
Psychology
Description of current research:

I am looking at neural decision making, specifically in terms of the Somatic Marker Theory of Damasio.

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I.T
Software development
Biography:

Current I.T student hoping to do my masters in AI development

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Post-doctoral fellow
University of Cape Town
Human Biology
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Representative of the Foltra Foundation
NeuroReGen
Biography:

Representative of the Foltra Foundation - Spain which harnesses Neurogenesis to recover motor and cognitive functions. Current Qualifications:M.Sc. Psych
CMASA Reg No: MBZ12125
https://www.facebook.com/BrainAdvancedRegenerativeTherapies/
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/CherylJohnston

Description of current research:

Current project: Utilisation of stem cells in the hippocampus to restore Cognitive functioning.

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MSc Med
University of the Witwatersrand
School of Anatomical Sciences
Description of current research:

The distribution of white matter neurons in the apes.

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Psychology
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Masters in Medicinal Science
University of KwaZulu Natal
Neurophysiology
Description of current research:

Assessing the effects of prenatal stress on the preoptic nuclei of febrile seizure rat models.

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Masters of Medical Science
University of KwaZulu Natal
Human Physiology
Description of current research:

L-DOPA model of dyskinesia.

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PhD & MBBCh
University of the Witwatersrand
Anatomical Sciences - Neuroanatomy
Description of current research:

A Descriptive Analysis of the Malayan tapir Brain

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Lecturer
University of the Witwatersrand
School of Anatomical Sciences
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Senior Lecturer/ Senior Clinical Psychologist
Sefako Makghato Health Sciences University
School of Medicine, Department of Clinical Psychology
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Neuro and Bio feedback
Neuroscience Institute for Business
Description of current research:

Strategic Leadership Coaching improves decision making and risk assessment in young business executives’ alpha activity over the frontal and cingulate cortices.

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Medical Intern
University of Pretoria
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Pharmacist
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University of KwaZulu-Natal
Human Physiology
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Research Scientist
University of Capetown
Integrative Biomedical Sciences
Biography:

Pioneer and visionary in Alzheimers and neurodegenerative research. Protein and enzymes are my passion and currently using immunotherapy to treat brain disorders is my next venture.

Description of current research:

¥ Both active and passive anti-Aβ immunotherapies were shown to clear brain Aβ deposits.
¥ However, an active anti-Aβ vaccine (AN1792) has been discontinued because it caused meningoencephalitis in 6 % of Alzheimer’s disease patients treated.
¥ Among passive immunotherapeutics, bapineuzumab in clinical trials were disappointing. Another antibody, solanezumab, directed at the mid-region of Aβ, failed in two Phase III clinical trials.
¥ Active immunization held great promise for AD originally, clinical trials failed to show significant improvement in cognition and mortality, and presented a great risk of inducing severe inflammation of brain, exacerbating the disease and leading to increased mortality.
¥ Monoclonal antibodies not as effective in treating AD due to lack of specificity and heterogenous nature of drug to antibody leading to non-targeted conjugation.
¥ Heavy-chain antibodies from which single-domain antibodies called VNAR fragments can be obtained which are smaller (12kDa) than conventional antibodies (150kDa).
¥ The complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) loop of its variable domain is particularly extended, which allows more sequence diversity to be accommodated and the binding of cryptic antigens to occur.
¥ VNAR-SNAP can be engineered to incorporate sequences that have naturally occurring BBB permeability e.g. endothelial receptor sequences.
¥ This facilitates direct binding to an endothelial receptor for the transport through the endothelial barrier via receptor mediated transcytosis and endocytosis.
¥ Drugs or drug carriers could be attached to these fragments and then transported into the brain
¥ VH single domain antibodies have been developed against oligomeric and ibrillary forms of peptides and proteins and applied to Aβ.
¥ Here the VH domain antibodies contain short sequences of residues from regions of the targeted proteins that are expected to be highly amyloidogenic. These segments are then inserted genetically into the CDR3 loop of the VH domain antibodies, and depending on the length of the sequence that is inserted, antibodies binding to either to oligomers or fibrils is observed.
¥ The resulting VH domain antibodies have been found to inhibit effectively formation of fibrils and reduced the toxicity associated with the oligomers.
¥ In a study of the mechanism of the aggregation of Aβ, a peptide containing the sequence 18–41 was incorporated within the CDR3 loop of IgNAR single variable domain antibody.
¥ Interactions between inserted regions of Aβ with paired dimers formed a tetramer in the crystal caged within four IgNAR domains, inhibiting further assembly into amyloid fibrils.

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University of Cape Town
Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology
Biography:

PhD Candidate - Neuropsychology

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Counselling Psychologist (Neuropsychology)
NeuropsychologySA
Honorary Associate of Rhodes University
Biography:

I assess neurocognitive dysfunction in private and medico-legal matters, but I also conduct research and training in the field of neuropsychology.

Description of current research:

Neuropsychological assessment and test applicability with South Africans with disadvantaged quality of education and disadvantaged backgrounds.

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MBChB, BSc Med Hons (concurrent)
University of Cape Town
Dep of Human Physiology
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Research Lecturer
University of Cape Town
Pathology, Immunology (Psycho-Neuro-Immunology)
Biography:

I grew up in Botswana and double majored in Pre-medicine and Psychology (comprehesive major) at Ashland University, OH. I am a Neuroscientist (MSc. Texas Christian University, TX) and Immunologist (PhD. University of Cape Town, South Africa) who enjoys outdoor activities and dancing.

Description of current research:

My research focuses on cytokines involved in cognitive function, investigated in relation to the influence pathogens such as helminthes (Type2) and bacteria (Type1) may have on learning and memory. Studies that I conduct aim to identify the possible role of pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory cytokine environment, on cognitive function, and their synergistic effects. Immunological roles of these cytokines on both immune cells (e.g. T cells) and non-immune cells (e.g. astrocytes) are identified, along with neuro-immunological factors and molecules associated with learning and memory. Moreover, using BCG and Listeria monocytogenes, we aim to study the role of IFN-g-producing T helper cells on cognitive functions.

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MSc Elec Eng (Wits)
University of the Witswatersrand and Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd
Electrical Engineer
Description of current research:

Interested in integrating machine learning and measurement systems with neuroscience (computational neuroscience). Looking for a great project to join (PhD).

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Lecturer
Rhodes University
Pharmacy
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Sessional Lecturer
University of Johannesburg
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Description of current research:

Sleep nuclei in Perissodactyls

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CEO
Part time lecturer at UP & Neuro-Link
Biography:

Developing people makes my heart sing! I assist schools, universities and businesses by moving performance forward. As CEO of Neuro-Link, I help organizations/teams/people out-think, out-learn &out-create their competition by utilizing the neuroscience of learning to improve performance.

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Neurophysiologist / MSc physiology
University of Pretoria / Neuro-Link
Department of Physiology / Neurophysiology
Biography:

I have a passion for neuroscience, research and people development. I am currently part of Neuro-Link, a company that specializes in the neuroscience of learning helping people develop themselves in terms of brain performance and potential. I am also currently doing research on the Corpus Callosum.

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Educational Psychologist
University of Pretoria
Department of Humanities Education
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Lecturer in Anatomy
University of Cape Town
Division of Clinical Anatomy and Biological Anthropology
Biography:

Lecturer in Clinical Anatomy and Neuroanatomy

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Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator
University of Cape Town
Human Biology
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PhD Nutrition
North West University
Centre of Excellence for Nutrition
Description of current research:

The aim of my PhD research is:
To investigate the effects of maternal iron (Fe) and omega-3 fatty acid (n-3 FA) depletion and repletion, and potential Fe and n-3 FA interactions, on offspring neurodevelopment, and to determine whether the effects are sex-specific.

The specific objectives are:
- To investigate whether the effects of a maternal double-deficiency in Fe and n-3 FAs (ID+n-3 FAD) during pregnancy affects offspring brain biochemistry, cognition and behaviour to a greater extent than a single deficiency.
- To assess whether the provision of Fe and docosahexaenoic acid plus eicosapentaenoic acid (DHA/EPA), alone or in combination, to double-deficient (ID+n-3 FAD) female rats during the first trimester can prevent neurodevelopmental deficits in the offspring.
- To evaluate whether providing Fe and DHA/EPA in combination to double-deficient (ID+n-3 FAD) female rats before conception is more effective in preventing deficits in offspring brain biochemistry, cognition and behaviour, than when it is provided post-conception.

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Research Fellow
University of the Witwatersrand
School of Public Health
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Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Calgary
Hotchkiss Brain Institute
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NRF intern / PhD in Neuroanatomy
University of Pretoria
Department of Anatomy
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Educator
Walter Sisulu University
Human Biology, Morphological Sciences
Description of current research:

Exploring the development of socio-cognitive skills in health sciences students (undergrads) using active methods in cooperative/collaborative learning settings.

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Research Fellow
University of Pretoria
Zoology and Entomology
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MSc Neuroscience
University of the Western Cape
Neuroscience/Forensics/microbiology
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Msc Biotechnology (1st enrollment)
The University of Western Cape
Department of Biotechnology
Biography:

Masters Student (Biotechnology)

Description of current research:

A neuropathological endophenotypic approach to understanding the genetic basis underlining criminal beahviour of females in South Africa

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Business co-owner
Tessame Consulting SA
Biography:

I am very passionate about the field of Neuroscience and its relevance to Organisational Development.

Description of current research:

Organisational Neuroscience

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Lecturer
University of the Witwatersrand
Oral Biological Sciences
Description of current research:

HIV drug/ prophylactics effects of Oral epithelial cell lines.
Oral sensors in the oral region

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medical doctor
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PhD student
Faculty of Medicine University of Fez Morocco
Clinical laboratory of Neurosciences
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Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Cape Town
Psychiatry and Mental Health
Description of current research:

Intergenerational transmission of traumatic stress & related disorders (including epigenetics)

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Residency program of neurosurgery
Université Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah of Fez
Neurosurgery
Description of current research:

Introduction: Cavernous malformations or cavernoma are hamartomas-like uncommon vascular malformations of the central nervous system characterized by abnormally dilated blood vessels with a thin endothelium without intervening normal nervous tissue. Spinal cord cavernomas are rare entity but has been reported in literature.
Here, we report an extremely rare case of bifocal localization of spinal cord intramedullary cavernous malformations in the cervical and thoracic regions
Case: A 40-year-old Arabic man, who presented with a three month history of acute cervical and thoracic pain with progressive weakness of right lower limb. Neurological examination revealed a spastic monoparesis of his right leg. Spinal cord MRI revealed two cavernous malformations at cervical and thoracic level. The patient underwent a surgical excision of the two lesions and a histopathological examination done by two different pathology laboratories revealed the features of cavernous malformation.
Conclusion: Spinal cord intramedullary cavernous malformations although rare have a significant morbidity. It should be diagnosed early on a range of nonspecific clinical and MRI findings and then treated early

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assistant professor of biophysics and MRI methods
faculty of medicine and pharmacy, Fes, Morocco
biophysics and MRI methods
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Psychiatrist/Doctoral Student
Makerere University
Psychiatry
Description of current research:

Understanding risk profiles to improve assessment of cognitive function in patients with psychosis

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Postdoc
Stellenbosch University
Genetics
Description of current research:

Currently my research focus is on the pharmacogenomics of antipsychotic treatment response, specifically the role that genes involved in DNA methylation may play in altering individual responses to schizophrenia medication.

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Research Coordinator
Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta
Division of Neurology, Department of ainternal Medicine
Description of current research:

Effect of Increase in free radical on the genome and its effect on the brain (psychology)

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Clinical Neuroscience
KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme
Neuroscience & Mental Health
Description of current research:

I am broadly interested in understanding the burden, pathogenesis and consequences of mental and neurological disorders in people living in Africa. Specifically, I have conducted and published studies on epilepsy, acute seizures, cerebral malaria and mental health problems as part of my PhD. I am now developing a new line of research on neurogenetics, which will be the focus of my training during the postdoctoral period.

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Senior Research Fellow
UCL
Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
Description of current research:

Humans interact with each other to share information and make decisions. Our lab investigates the cognitive and neurobiological basis of interactive decision making. We use behavioural psychological testing, functional and structural brain imaging and psychopharmacology techniques to understand human interactive behaviour.

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Ph.D(NEUROPSYCHOLOGY)
MAKERERE UNIVERSITY
PSYCHIATRY
Description of current research:

Psychology students’ understanding and experiences in the application of neuro imaging techniques in clinical practice: A qualitative study.

Author
Ann Jacquelline Nakitende
Email:janakitex@yahoo.com
Mob: (256) 712851619

ABSTRACT
Students enrolled for the Master of Science in Clinical Psychology course at the Makerere University School of Psychology; are required to attend the mandatory course units of which neuropsychology is part. There is a dearth of knowledge in understanding the neuroimaging methods and application in the provision of appropriate psychotherapy. The purpose of this study will be to explore Master of Science in Clinical Psychology students’ understanding, experiences and ability to apply neuroimaging methods in Clinical practice.

This will be a qualitative study using phenomenological approaches. Five students will be exposed to different neuroimaging methods. They will be required to name the method and its purpose in brain function. Another group of five students will be exposed to films and required to identify and name the brain areas and anomalies shown. Data will be collected using in-depth interviews conducted in English, a language of instruction in schools. Interviews will be audio recorded. Data will be manually analyzed using content analysis. The main themes and subthemes exploring Master of Science in Clinical Psychology students’ understanding, experiences and ability to apply neuroimaging methods in clinical practice will be generated.

Therefore findings from this study will act as a guide in teaching Master of Science in Clinical Psychology students’, skills and knowledge in the understanding of neuroimaging methods and their application in brain function and behavior.

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Postdoctoral Fellow
Stellenbosch University
Psychiatry
Description of current research:

I work in the field of psychiatric genetics research, focusing on anxiety and stress-related disorders, such as PTSD. I am particularly interested in the role of epigenetics in complex psychiatric disorders. One of my new research interests is investigating the role of the gut microbiome in neuropsychiatric disorders.

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PhD in Neurosciences
University of Cape Town
Division of Neurosurgery
Biography:

PhD student in Neurosciences

Description of current research:

My current project entitled, drug recovery and biomarkers in tuberculous meningitis is focused on how important drugs used to treat tuberculosis enter the brain and in what concentrations.

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Radiologist
Korle bu Teaching Hospital
Radiology
Description of current research:

CT imaging findings in HIV/AIDS patients

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