9th November 2015

Members

Executive Committee:

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General Members:

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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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Lecturer / 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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