President – Elysia Sokolenko

Degree/University: PhD, University of Melbourne

Area of research: Behavioural neuroscience

In layman’s terms, simply explain your PhD: If I manipulate how a particular cell works in the brain, will I see changes in the electrical activity of the brain and problems with cognition emerge? This could suggest to us that that cell causes cognitive impairment in schizophrenia and thus, be a new treatment target.

What advice would you give to students interested in research? Regardless of your results (or lack thereof), you will be making a meaningful contribution to the world. Take comfort and pride in that, especially on the days that you are having your resilience tested.

Vice-President & Secretary – Alexandre Guérin

Degree/University: PhD, University of Melbourne

Area of research: The effect of methamphetamine on genes and behaviour

What advice would you give to students interested in research? Be perseverant. If something doesn’t work, keep trying. Research can be challenging, but it’s important to give it your all and never give up.

If you could have your dream career, what would it be? I always wanted to work in mental health, more specially youth and adolescent mental health. My dream career would be to work in research aiming at improving young people’s lives.

Treasurer – Celeste Tipple

Degree/University: Swinburne University of Technology

Area of research: Exploring a source theta-based neurofeedback protocol in mood, dorsal dentate gyrus functioning, and neurogenesis.

What do you enjoy about your degree? I enjoy applying my knowledge of biology and neuroscience to mental health research, which may impact the lives of those suffering with depression.

What advice would you give to students interested in research? Take your time finding what you are passionate about, read widely on the topic and pursue projects within that area. Take different perspectives on the problem at hand and be open to criticism.

Media Manager – James Karantonis

Degree/University: PhD, Swinburne University of Technology

What do you enjoy about your degree? I’ve enjoyed learning new skills, skills I didn’t think I’d ever have.

What advice would you give to students interested in research? Make sure you enjoy your research field, because it will become your life.

Media and Marketing – Pedro Trevizan Bau

Degree/University: PhD, University of Melbourne

Area of research: Neurophysiology. Neural control of vocalization in health and tauopathy-related disease.

What do you enjoy about your degree? The opportunity to be in contact with excellent researchers of my field.

What advice would you give to students interested in research? Keep studying and discussing about science with friends.

Media Support – Jay Wang

Degree/University: Masters, Heidelberg University

Area of research: Neurophysiology. Neural control of vocalization in health and tauopathy-related disease.

What do you enjoy about your degree? Being able to experience multiple internships abroad and learn a breadth of techniques and knowledge in neuroscience.

What advice would you give to students interested in research? Build a network in and around the field of research you are interested in and you will be surprised how these connections will lead you to.

Events Manager (Symposium) – Anique Muttiah

Degree/University: PhD, Victoria University

Area of research: Do anxious people have different poo to non-anxious people? Let’s see if we can use probiotics or psychological therapy to change your poo, anxiety, and thinking skills.

What do you enjoy about your degree? Learning and contributing to a burgeoning area of research (gut-brain axis) where there are continually new developments. This can be really challenging, but also really fulfilling as it definitely keeps me on my toes!

What advice would you give to students interested in research? Take the time before commencing and also throughout your research journey to speak to researchers who are further along in their career. This has helped me to continually learn from people who have been where I am and also to normalise my own experiences.

Events Team (Dinner) – Peter Fransquet

Degree/University: PhD, Monash University

Area of research: Neurodegenerative disorders (primarily Dementias)

What advice would you give to students interested in research? Do it for the love of science and exploring the unknown, and never give up!

Events Team – Wei Shern Lee

Degree/University: PhD, University of Melbourne

Area of research: Neurogenetics. Understanding the genetic basis of balloon cells in focal cortical dysplasia.

What advice would you give to students interested in research? I would advise students interested in research to look for not only the project that interests them but also a good supervisor/mentor who can give proper guidance throughout their study. Before choosing a lab, have a chat with the people in the lab and also think about the postdoc : student ratio.

Events Team – Delphi Kondos-Devcic

Degree/University: PhD, RMIT University

Area of research: Impact of the Perinatal Environment on the Structure and Function of the Developing Brain. Babies who are born growth restricted are known to have brain damage, resulting in a spectrum of problems from learning difficulties to cerebral palsy. I’m working on a treatment for that brain damage.

Non-steering member – Sasha Davies

Degree/University: PhD, Deakin University

What advice would you give to students interested in research? This is a great growth area that has the potential to directly impact the way in which we provide health services to pregnant women.

What do you enjoy about your degree? The supportive research environment, my amazing colleagues, the autonomy of the research degree, and the thrill of being part of science!