9th November 2015

Members

Executive Committee:
Approved
Chairperson
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.

Approved
Secretary
Approved
Treasurer
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.

Approved
Deputy Chair
Approved
Deputy Secretary
Approved
Social Media and Outreach
Approved
Social Media and Outreach
Approved
Social Media and Outreach
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.

Approved
Transformation
Approved
Transformation
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.

Approved
Co-opted
Approved
Co-opted
Approved
Co-opted
Approved
Co-opted
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:
Approved
Approved
Post-doctoral Fellow
North-West University
Pharmacology
Description of current research:

Translational models in risk and resilience disorders, using the zebrafish

Approved
Approved
Approved
Senior Lecturer
University of Cape Town
Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Approved
PhD Candidate
Stellenbosch University
Psychiatry
Description of current research:

The impact of substance use in First-Episode Schizophrenia.

Approved
Research Assistant and PhD candidate
Stellenbosch University
Department of Psychiatry
Approved
Approved
Approved
BSc Honours Neurophysiology Student
University of Pretoria
Neurophysiology
Description of current research:

My current research focuses on the effect and impact of Neurofeedback, specifically Infra-Slow Fluctuation training, on deviant brain activity with the use of pre- and post quantitative electroencephalograms.

Approved
MSc
Stellenbosch University
Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Approved
Approved
Approved
Approved
Approved
Approved
Approved
Approved
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.

Approved
I.T
Software development
Biography:

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

Approved
Approved
Approved
Approved
Post-doctoral fellow
University of Cape Town
Human Biology
Approved
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.

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

The distribution of white matter neurons in the apes.

Approved
Psychology
Approved
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.

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

L-DOPA model of dyskinesia.

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

A Descriptive Analysis of the Malayan tapir Brain

Approved
Approved
Approved
Approved
Lecturer
University of the Witwatersrand
School of Anatomical Sciences
Approved
Approved
Senior Lecturer/ Senior Clinical Psychologist
Sefako Makghato Health Sciences University
School of Medicine, Department of Clinical Psychology
Approved
Approved
Approved
Approved
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.

Approved
Medical Intern
University of Pretoria
Approved
Pharmacist
Approved
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Human Physiology
Approved
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.

Approved
Approved
Approved
University of Cape Town
Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology
Biography:

PhD Candidate - Neuropsychology

Approved
Approved
Approved
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.

Approved
MBChB, BSc Med Hons (concurrent)
University of Cape Town
Dep of Human Physiology
Approved
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.

Approved
Approved
Approved
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).

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

Sleep nuclei in Perissodactyls

Approved
Approved
Approved
Approved
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.

Approved
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.

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

Lecturer in Clinical Anatomy and Neuroanatomy

Approved
Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator
University of Cape Town
Human Biology
Approved
Approved
Approved
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.

Approved
Research Fellow
University of the Witwatersrand
School of Public Health
Approved
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Calgary
Hotchkiss Brain Institute
Approved
NRF intern / PhD in Neuroanatomy
University of Pretoria
Department of Anatomy
Approved
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.

Approved
Research Fellow
University of Pretoria
Zoology and Entomology
Approved
MSc Neuroscience
University of the Western Cape
Neuroscience/Forensics/microbiology
Approved
Approved
Approved
Approved
Approved
Approved
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

Approved
Approved
Approved
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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