Wednesday, 1 — Friday, 3 November 2023

Invited speakers

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Dr Angie Dos Santos

Angela is a Gumbaynggirr and Kwiamble woman from the NSW mid north coast. She is Australia's first and only Aboriginal neurologist. She graduated medicine from the Western Sydney University in 2011. She completed physician and neurology training in Sydney in 2018, and then underwent further Stroke speciality training with a Fellowship at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in 2019. She is currently employed as a neurologist and stroke physician at the Royal Melbourne and Alfred Hospitals. She works on Australia’s first Mobile Stroke Unit (ambulance equipped with mobile CT) in Melbourne. She also is a stroke neurologist for the Victorian Stroke Telehealth network. She teaches First Nations Health to medical students at the University of Melbourne. She does outreach neurology clinics in Alice Springs, Darwin and Moree. She is a Scientia Fellow with the University of New South Wales. She works as a Senior Clinical Research Fellow for the Australian Stroke Alliance and is completing a PhD at the University of Melbourne focussed on Stroke in First Nations people.

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Professor Alistair Jan Gunn

Alistair Jan Gunn, Professor, Physiology and Paediatrics, a Paediatrician-scientist in the Department of Physiology at the University of Auckland, has conducted ground-breaking research into the mechanisms and treatment of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and seizures, identifying compromised fetuses in labour and prevention of life threatening events in infancy. His research helped to establish mild cooling as the first ever technique to reduce brain injury due to low oxygen levels at birth. This simple and effective treatment is now standard care around the world.

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Professor Rod Hunt

Professor Rod Hunt is the Financial Markets Foundation for Children Chair in Neonatal Paediatrics at Monash University, and the Director of Research in Victoria for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. His research interests have focussed on protection of the newborn brain, and he was the PI of the Newborn Electrographic Seizure Trial. He is currently collaborating on studies to interrogate the utility of erythropoietin and melatonin as add-on therapies to therapeutic hypothermia for hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.

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Professor Nigel Jones

Associate Professor Nigel Jones is Head of the Epilepsy & Behaviour lab in the Department of Neuroscience, and Graduate Research Coordinator in the Central Clinical School, Monash University. He is a discovery neuroscientist with a passion for understanding brain function both in health and disease states. He has made key contributions in the fields of epilepsy, schizophrenia, depression and cognitive disorders, primarily through animal modelling approaches. He has published 132 peer-reviewed articles with >6000 citations. With regards to epilepsy research, he has a long history of studying pathophysiological mechanisms of disease development, and designing targeted therapeutics of disease modification based on these mechanisms. His recent interests focus on understanding the synergistic interactions of epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

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Professor Bridgette Semple

Associate Professor Bridgette Semple heads the Paediatric Neurotrauma Group in the Department of Neuroscience at Monash University's Central Clinical School in Melbourne, Australia. Her laboratory team uses preclinical animal models supplemented by the analysis of patient samples to address fundamental knowledge gaps in our understanding of the biological mechanisms that occur in the brain after a traumatic injury, particularly when sustained during early life. Her work has focused recently on acute neuroinflammation after brain injury, and how this immune response may drive chronic outcomes including neurobehavioural deficits and post-traumatic epilepsy. A/Prof. Semple's team is currently supported by funding from Veski, Monash University, and the US Department of Defense, and she has leadership roles with both the US National Neurotrauma Society and the International Neurotrauma Society.

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Jade Tamatea

Jade grew up in the Waikato before studying medicine at The University of Auckland. Having returned to the Waikato, Jade now has a Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, specialising in endocrinology and diabetes.

Jade’s passion is Māori health and sees critique of the health system as important. Her PhD through The University of Auckland, Te Whakangungu Rākau, looked at the journey of patients with thyrotoxicosis focusing on impact on Māori in the healthcare system. As a Senior Lecturer with Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, University of Auckland, she has an avenue to continue her research in this area, while also helping to develop the next generation of Māori clinicians. As an endocrinologist, she takes this into her clinical sphere, driving for change in the delivery of healthcare for Māori.

She thrives on the support of her wider whānau, her supportive husband and their two beautiful tamariki.