9th November 2015

Members

Executive Committee:

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General Members:

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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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Psychology
University of Pretoria
Psychology
Biography:

Research focus in alcohol use disorder, cognition and neuroplasticity.

Description of current research:

AUD and Cognition

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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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Al fashir University
Biography:

CEO, Co-founder of Medical and Cancer Research Institute

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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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PhD
UCT
Psychiatry
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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:[email protected]
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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Assistant Professor
1- Institut supérieur des Sciences de la Santé, Settat, Université Hassan 1er, Complexe Universitaire, route de Casablanca B.P 555 Settat, Morocco. 2-Laboratory of Neurosciences, Pharmacology and Environment, Cadi Ayyad University (UCAM), Faculty of Sciences Semlalia, B.P. 2390, Marrakesh, Morocco
Biomedical sciences/Neurosciences
Description of current research:

Dehydration is a powerful stimulus causing disequilibrium in homeostasis of water and electrolytes resulting from depletion in total body water. Most studies have focused on domestic and laboratory animals; however, the study of desert animals allows improved understanding about water balance and resistance to dehydration and associated behavioral changes, including those related to voluntary movements. Meriones shawi (Shaw’s Jird) is a desert rodent characterized by its resistance to long periods of thirst that can extend for several months. In the present study, M. shawi were subjected to water deprivation for 1 month. We used tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry (TH: the key enzyme of catecholamine biosynthesis) to evaluate the effects of prolonged dehydration on the dopaminergic system in both substancia nigra pars compacta and ventral tegmental area (SNpc and VTA), which are the main sources of dopamine input to several brain areas; the immunolabelling was performed also in both the medial forebrain bundle and the caudate putamen (striatum). In addition, the open-field test was used to evaluate the effect of dehydration on locomotor activity in M. shawi. The results showed an increase in TH immunolabelling in both SNpc and VTA following 1 month of dehydration compared to control levels. The same results were obtained with fibers in both MFB and striatum. This augmentation of TH immunoreactivity was accompanied by noticeable changes in locomotor activity behavior of Meriones, the recording test shows the hyperactivity of animals which is probably caused by dehydration. Overall, the results indicate that dehydration is able to increase dopaminergic neurotransmission, which might be involved in generating hyperactivity in this desert animal.

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Teaching & Research
Babcock University, Nigeria
Anatomy & Neuroscience
Description of current research:

One of the clinical significance of the sella turcica is the empty sella syndrome which is the condition of a shrunken or flattened pituitary gland; hence a familiarity with the sella turcica anatomy and radiological appearance is of great importance. The present study investigated the normal dimensions of the sella turcica and the relationship with gender and age in adult Nigerians resident in Lagos, using computed tomographs of patients who underwent CT head examination. This was carried out to determine if the dimensions of sella turcica vary with age, gender and race; this is with a view to providing normal, standard reference for our indigenous population in Nigeria. This study assessed: the length, the depth and the antero-posterior diameter of the sella turcica. 297 samples were obtained and analyzed using SPSS Windows Version 14.0. T- test was used for the statistical analysis and values obtained were expressed as mean ± S. E. M. and P value ˂0.05 was considered statistically significant. The results showed the mean length of 9.81±0.094mm, the mean antero-posterior diameter is 11.37±0.090mm and the mean depth is 8.49±0.08mm. It was also discovered that neither the age group nor the gender of the patients is a determinant of the sella turcica dimensions. Furthermore, the males tend to have slightly larger sella turcica dimensions than the females and the values from the present study are lower than those reported in Caucasian studies. The size of pituitary gland can be roughly estimated from the dimensions of sella turcica obtained from radiological methods in pathological conditions since disease conditions of the “master gland” ultimately affect the size of the sella turcica.

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Lecturing
University of Medical Sciences
Anatomy
Description of current research:

Simulated Microgravity and Neuronal Structures

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Radiologist/Neuroradiology
University of Ibadan
Radiology/Neuroradiology
Description of current research:

The goal of my research is to establish the differences in cerebral blood flow patterns in HIV patients with and without cognitive Impairment using Computed Tomographic perfusion(CTP) technique.

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PhD Exercise Physiology
University of Cape Town
Human Biology
Description of current research:

The influence of methylphenidate on brain activity

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Faculty member
University of Uyo
Anatomy/Neuroanatomy
Description of current research:

Title: Rauwolfia vomitoria Activities on Neurobehaviour and the Brain

Description: The rising cost of orthodox medication has endeared so many to the use of herbs for the management of neurological conditions. Rauwolfia vomitoria (RV) one of such herbs is a rain forest shrub whose parts are used locally in the management of psychiatry and other medical issues. Its usefulness though not in doubt is wrapped with adverse reports as its active constituents deplete brain monoamine and dopamine stores motivating this research on the effects of the root bark extract on different neurobehavioural paradigm and brain areas. Adult Wistar rats (220 g average) were divided into four groups (n = 6); control (placebo), 200 mg/kg, 300 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg RV root bark extract. The oral administration lasted for seven days and on day 8, test of locomotion, anxiety, exploration, learning and memory, and olfaction were carried out. On sacrifice, all the brains were processed for histology and immunoreactivity. Results showed loss of appetite for feed and water, body weight loss, freezing, sedation, and inhibition of locomotion and olfaction, while learning and memory was not affected.
Preliminary results of the histology showed degenerative features and analysis is still ongoing.
These preliminary results suggest that  RV may be deleterious to the brain,

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Postdoctoral Research Fellow in population genetics
Massachusetts General Hospital
Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit
Description of current research:

Alicia is a research fellow in ATGU and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, advised by Dr. Mark Daly. Her general interests are in human population genetics, especially in leveraging demographic history to aid in disease studies. Her current projects utilize pairwise identity-by-descent (IBD) sharing to assess recent population history, associate haplotypes with psychiatric disorders, and infer the ages of disease risk haplotypes and alleles to better understand their evolutionary pressures. She obtained her PhD degree in 2015 from the Genetics Department at Stanford University (advised by Dr. Carlos D. Bustamante) for her work in genetic and regulatory variation across diverse human populations.

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MSc Med student
University of Cape Town
Division of Human Genetics/Psychiatric Genetics of bipolar disorder
Description of current research:

At present my project involves using bioinformatics technology and whole genome sequencing data to elucidate the genetic origins of bipolar disorder in a family with a history of psychiatric diagnoses.

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PhD
University of Witwatersrand
Biomedical engineering/brain computer interfaces
Description of current research:

analysis of neural connectivity for key hand movements

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Honours student
University of Cape Town
Human Genetics
Description of current research:

Genetic determinants of Bipolar Disorder Type 1 with regards to the immune system

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PhD Student
Univesity of Fez
Computer Science
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PhD
Stellenbosch University
Genetics
Description of current research:

My research involves pharmacogenomic analysis of antipsychotics in schizophrenia, predominantly in first-episode South African mixed ancestry patients. My Masters project explored noncoding regions involved in gene regulation in treatment response, while my PhD research focuses on pharmacoepigenomcis - specifically differential DNA methylation and variation in treatment outcomes.

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Lecturer
U.S.I.U
Psychology / Neuroscience
Description of current research:

My research is in the use of Event Related Potentials (ERPs) as a marker of cognition. I have recorded ERPs of various clinical populations and compared these against age-matched community controls.

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Msc Epidemiology
University of Witwatersrand
Biography:

MSc Epidemiology (University of the Witwatersrand).

Description of current research:

My dissertation is titled "The detection of HIV associated neurocognitive disorders using neurocognitive assessment tests in Uganda"

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Neurology registrar
Medecine Faculty, Antananarivo University, Madagascar
Neurology
Description of current research:

The stroke at Neurology Unit in Antananarivo has many complications: 80% of functional disability, 33% recurrence and 20% of vascular dementia. The active young people was the majority. However, this does not reflect Madagascar. Now, you have some CT-scan and 2 MRI, you will study the early sign of dementia for the Malagasy, especially vascular dementia.

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PhD Human Genetics
Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg Campus
Molecular Biology and Human Genetics
Biography:

I studied Physiology and Pharmacology at undergraduate degree and Neuropharmacology at master’s degree. I am interested in understanding the role of genetics and its interplay with the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases.

Description of current research:

I am a PhD student in the Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Tygerberg, Stellenbosch University. My research topic focus on identifying pathogenic mutations in black African Parkinson’s disease patients. My study utilizes genomics and proteomics techniques to achieve this objective.

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