Events Co-Manager – Aminath Azhan

Azu completed her Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours) at Monash University in 2009. She  was appointed as a research assistant at Melbourne University from 2010 to 2011 and then was  recruited at The Ritchie Centre, Monash Institute of Medical Research (MIMR). She worked on  various animal models and therapies for preterm brain injury. This period was one of the most  fulfilling experiences of her scientific career, which also exposed her to the many challenges of  research. Working on various projects with different research groups is that something that she enjoys. She is an author on more than fifteen conference abstracts, presentations and has a first author review article published in Frontiers in Physiology. Her experience has given her profound insight into the neuropathology of developmental brain injury that will aid in improving clinical outcomes of preterm and growth restricted infants. In 2013, she embarked on a phD investigating the role of Wnt and Notch signalling pathways in arrested myelination and molecule-mediated therapies for growth restriction. Dr Mary Tolcos, A/Prof David Walker and A/Prof Timothy Moss at The Ritchie Centre, MIMR-PHI Institute of Medical Research mentor and supervise this project.
Azu is thrilled to be a co-events manager of SoBR, and to be a part of the committee. SoBR will give the opportunity for graduates and professionals within this field to network and raise awareness of neuroscience within the community which she always been keen on.
Apart from research Azu dedicates her time to community involvement. She is an active Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Melbourne Park and was previously on the committee of the Melbourne Metro Group of Amnesty International.

Events Co-Manager – Aron Hill

Aron is currently undertaking his PhD within the Cognitive Neurotechnology Research Group at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) under the supervision of A/Prof Kate Hoy, Dr Nigel Rogasch and Prof Paul Fitzgerald. Aron’s research is aimed at utilising non-invasive brain stimulation techniques to improve neuroplasticity-based cognitive performance. Aron is particularly interested in better understanding the behavioural and neurophysiological effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) through the use of brain imaging techniques (EEG, TMS-EEG) and neuropsychological tests. Prior to commencing his PhD, Aron completed a BA/BSc, followed by an Honours degree in psychology at Monash University.

Events Co-Manager – Luan Luu

Luan Luu completed his undergraduate honours at the University of Sydney in 2010, Westmead Millenium Institute, in the field of Virology to investigate the exocytosis of HSV-1 in neurons. During his honours studies he volunteered at a nursing home and witnessed people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and seeing the effects it has on the individual and their families. These experiences made him interested in researching neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases. From this he decided to pursue PhD studies in neurodegeneration.

In 2012, he moved to Melbourne to pursue studies due to the high amounts of neuroscience research. Luan is studying Alzheimer’s disease with Professor Roberto Cappai and Dr Joe Ciccotosto as his supervisors at the University of Melbourne. He is currently investigating the role of Amyloid Precursor metabolites, N-terminal fragments of the amyloid precursor protein, in neurite outgrowth. During his studies he is a lab demonstrator in teaching second year science student techniques in investigating disease. He has become passionate about teaching student scientific techniques and wishes to continue this in the future. Luan is keen on being apart of the Students of Brain Research committee and taking on the responsibilities of a Co-event manager.

Media and Communications Manager – Simon McKenzie-Nickson

Simon is currently in the second year of his PhD in neuropharmacology at the University of Melbourne (and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health) working under the supervision of Prof Kevin Barnham, A/Prof David Finkelstein and Dr Lin Hung. The focus of his research is looking at the role of metals (specifically copper) in excitotoxic neurodegeneration with specifically in Alzheimer’s disease and Menkes disease.
Simon previously completed a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology and Biochemistry followed by a Masters in Biochemistry under the supervision of Professor Warren Tate at the University of Otago, NZ. Simon’s Masters Degree was investigating the way by which an N-terminal fragment of the protein APP was tranducing its neurotrophic effects. Simon also has a keen interest in science communication and the dissemination of exciting science to the general public, in a way that is easily digestible. To this end, he created his own blog in 2013 called ‘Science by Simon’ and since starting that he has been asked to write articles for science websites such as the Royal Institution of Australia and Sciengage as well as speaking on podcasts about science. In his spare time Simon is a freelance photographer (SMN-photography) which he has been doing for pleasure for the past 8 years. Simon also enjoys DJing, whisky appreciation and does his best to frequent the gym.

Finance and Sponsorship Manager – Charlotte Ermine

Charlotte Ermine completed her Bachelor of Biology & Biochemistry at the University of Nantes in France. She then joined to University of Bordeaux, where she obtained her Master of Neurosciences & Neuropsychopharmacology in 2012. Charlotte is currently a PhD student under the supervision of Dr Lachlan Thompson, A/Prof Claire Parish and Prof Phil Beart. Her main focus is to identify potential therapeutic targets to treat the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. For that she is studying the formation of new neurons, a process called neurogenesis, in a rodent model. Charlotte looks forward to being part of the SOBR community and helping all students in expanding their scientific and professional network.

Societies and Conference Liaison Manager – Tingting Cao

Ting obtained her Bachelor of Behavioural Neuroscience (Hons) majoring in psychology and neuroscience from Monash University in 2012. During her undergraduate studies, she spent a summer studying psychology at the University of Bergen (Norway). As part of her honours year project, she investigated blood oxygenation changes using near infra-red spectroscopy resulting from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation under the supervision of Dr Richard Thomson at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc). She is currently completing her PhD at MAPrc under the supervision of Professor Paul Fitzgerald, Dr Richard Thomson and Dr Rebecca Segrave. Ting was born and raised in Beijing. She decided to study abroad in Australia 5 years ago and pursue her passion in the field of neuroscience. Her doctoral study is exploring and optimising brain stimulation protocols in the treatment of major depressive disorder. Ting has enjoyed her role as student representative for her course during both undergraduate and honours years at Monash University, School of Psychology and Psychiatry. She is very excited to have this opportunity to be part of the SOBR committee and looks forward to making a valuable contribution.

Student Liaison and Enquiries Manager – Akram Zamani

Akram completed her undergraduate degree in Molecular biology at Tehran University in Iran and went on to complete her Masters degree working with plants. She cloned thaumatin-like protein in canola plants and generated plants with enhanced resistance to stem rot disease under the supervision of her dad! She then moved to Canada. It was there that she found passion in neuroscience. After working for 2 years on stroke recovery in diabetic mouse model with Craig Brown she thought its time to leave for somewhere warmer. She moved to Australia in 2013 to start her PhD studies on the regulatory role of SOCS2 on TrkB signalling. She has now joined SOBR and is very excited to be part of the family.

Events Co-Manager – Phillip Law

Phillip Law completed his Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons) at the University of Queensland in 2007, under the supervision of Dr Derek Arnold establishing a new paradigm for perceptual suppression. Phillip is currently completing his PhD at Monash University/Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) in the field of clinical and perceptual neuroscience under the supervision of Dr Steven Miller, Dr Trung Ngo, and Dr Caroline Gurvich. His main research focus is in investigating an endophenotype for bipolar disorder, using a psychophysics model involving binocular rivalry. His specific research aims involve establishing the diagnostic and endophenotype utility of binocular rivalry for use in genome-wide association studies of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. His research vision is towards the establishment of a brain-based clinical diagnostic classification system for psychiatric conditions, especially for current DSM classifications of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression.