Promoting the University’s research strengths abroad

January 12 / 78

Professor Ian Chubb addressing the attendees at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Scientific Meeting held in Washington DC.
Professor Ian Chubb addressing the attendees at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Scientific Meeting held in Washington DC.

Global Engagement and the Melbourne Neurosciences Institute have made it possible for several University academics to contribute to a celebration of Australian neuroscience, Neuroscience Down Under, held at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC as part of the 2011 Society for Neuroscience Annual Scientific Meeting.

The event was hosted by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, who reminisced about his involvement with the growth of neuroscience in Australia.

Held late last year, the celebration saw several of the University’s eminent researchers collaborate with colleagues in Sydney, Brisbane and Vanderbilt University (Tennessee, USA) to organise a series of events with the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research’s at the Australian Embassy office.

Presenter Professor Brian Dean, of the Melbourne Neuroscience Institute, said staff had enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to work with the Australian chapters of the Society for Neuroscience to celebrate the country's achievements during the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

In addition to the traditional Neuroscience Down Under reception for conference attendees, the embassy also hosted a special lecture to raise awareness of Australia-US collaboration in the week before the conference.

This event attracted attendees from a broad cross-section of the Washington scientific community including senior members from the National Science Foundation. 

Professor Brian Dean and Professor Jeffrey Conn, the Lee E. Limbird Professor of Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University, made presentations on the challenges of understanding the causes of schizophrenia and developing new drugs to alleviate its symptoms. 

Professor Ian Chubb stressed how important research could flow from trans-Pacific collaborations similar to that being undertaken by Professors Dean and Conn.

Besides both events, the embassy worked with the Cunningham Dax Collection at the University of Melbourne to mount a temporary exhibition of its works by people experiencing mental illness - the first time works from the collection have been shown in the US.

Taken together, these events served to illustrate many facets of Australian neuroscience, cutting edge research undertaken in close collaboration with US partners showcasing the depth of Australian talent on display.

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