ACAN 2025 & 2023 Course Testimonials

We are excited to announce that the ACAN 2025 course will take place at UNSW, in Sydney, Australia.

Please keep an eye out on this page for further updates regarding the 2025 Course and its program which is currently under development.

The ACAN 2023 Course was a resounding success with fantastic feedback received from its participants, see what our 2023 participants had to say about the course:

The ACAN 2023 course was a fantastic and once-in-a-lifetime experience. I thoroughly enjoyed all three weeks of the course, particularly the practical components.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I truely cannot say it enough. I have returned to my lab with more confidence, motivation, and drive than ever before and I have hit the ground running wanting to make the most out of everything I have learned. Thank you for all the admin, long hours,thought and care that has gone into this course and making it something I will never forget.

Overall, the course was exceptional and I had a great time. I will be encouraging others to submit applications to attend in 2025!

Speaking to all the coordinators and instructors, it is clear how much time, effort and organisation goes into the course. It is amazing that such a course exists in Australia and I want to give my sincere appreciation for being selected and being able to experience this. It has increased my love for neuroscience and allowed me to form friendships with people I never would have met otherwise.

Read More

ACAN 2023 Applications Now Open

We are pleased to advise that the 2023 Australasian Course in Advanced Neuroscience (ACAN) applications are now open. ACAN will be a full hands-on course held from the 23rd June to 15th July 2023 and will be held at the Florey and University of Melbourne VIC with accommodation secured at University College.


Applications will close on the 14th of April 2023. 12 students will be selected from around Australia and New Zealand to take part in the course. Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty interested in using electrophysiological, optical and behavioural techniques in their research are encouraged to apply for a place.

During the course, each participant will become proficient in patch-clamp recording, calcium imaging, optogenetics, pharmacogenetics and behavioural manipulation, amongst other techniques. Thanks to the generous support of The Finkel Foundation, ACAN 2023 will feature a dedicated 2-photon imaging/electrophysiology setup that will complement an array of in vitro and in vivo recording techniques. The 2023 course will also feature neural Imaging with miniaturized microscopes (or 'minscopes') with Daniel Aharoni travelling from the US to talk about and demonstrate this exciting technique. The course will also take advantage of the infrastructure of the Florey and University of Melbourne to provide a unique interactive experience. ACAN 2022 was a huge amount of fun and we look forward to welcoming the next cohort of students back to Melbourne.

Read More

2022 ACAN Testimonials

Thinking about applying for ACAN in 2023? Applications will be open soon, in the meantime, here's what one of our 2022 participants told us about the course - 


I enjoyed every aspect of ACAN. The students, tutors and lecturers were great, the content and location were also great. I particularly liked the structure where each week explored different aspects of neuroscience.

Fantastic course overall, will highly recommend to prospective students.

I am extremely thankful for having had the opportunity to take part in the course, I thought it was very engaging, fun, informative, and eye opening. The people were wonderful, from the students, to the lecturers and instructors, and I wish I could do it again, or help somehow in the future. Thank you again for the time and effort, I will never forget it.

The learning I gained has been immeasurable and has given me a lot more confidence going forward in my PhD - I feel like I have a stronger understanding of the field of neuroscience as a whole, not just understanding my area of research.

I enjoyed the opportunity to learn a wide range of topics while also having hands-on practical experience. The lecturers, instructors, and other students were also incredibly nice. Overall, it was a very comfortable and friendly environment to learn as much about neuroscience as possible in 3 weeks.


Read More

2022 Applications Now Open

Applications Now Open

Applications for the 2022 Australasian Course in Advanced Neuroscience are now open for Australian and New Zealand students. Applications close in mid-April 2022. To apply, please click here.

Read More

Program Details

Week 1 Theme: Recording Electrical Activity in Single Neurons: the excitable cell and synaptic transmission

An intensive week learning whole-cell patch clamp techniques. Although the focus will be slice based electrophysiology, students will also gain experience with the oocyte expression system and dynamic clamp techniques. By the end of week 1 students have a firm grasp of the technical aspects of patch clamping in brain slices, but also an intimate knowledge of the important biophysical foundations underlying electrophysiological recording and data interpretation. During this week students will also learn advanced stereotaxic injection techniques that are required for subsequent weeks of the course.

Week 2 Theme: Imaging of Cortical Processing and Neuronal Network Function

Students will gain both theoretical and practical knowledge to use emergent imaging and in vivo electrophysiology techniques. Students will learn the principles and application of light microscopy, as well as the use of different types of imaging systems, functional fluorophores, delivery techniques, and digital image-processing software. Laboratory practicals will involve functional imaging from living animals and brain slices, with particular emphasis on single- and two-photon microscopy. Using calcium indicators, students will record neural responses in vitro and in vivo, and will be armed with analysis tools for extracting and interpreting fluorescence signals.

Week 3 Theme: Manipulating Brain Systems and Behaviour

Students will gain insight into fundamental neuromodulatory systems operating in subcortical circuits to control behaviour and methods to interrogate system function. Students will learn how to perform stereotaxic surgery in order to record and manipulate subcortical systems with fibre photometry pharmacogenetic tools. Students will also learn how to design behavioural experiments, programme behavioural training equipment and train experimental animals to specific conditioning procedures. At the completion of behavioural experiments, students will conduct slice electrophysiology experiments to verify how pharmacogenetic and optogenetic tools modify single cell excitability.

Read More

ACAN Dates

Australasian Neuroscience Society

2022 Sunday 9 October – Saturday 29 October 

The Australasian Course in Advanced Neuroscience (ACAN) is an intensive three-week course that teaches both advanced theory and hands-on-practice of latest neuroscience techniques. The course has historically been run on Stradbroke Island, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 edition will be held at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne. The core ethos of the course will not change and is designed to give students the skills to design and implement state-of-the-art experimental techniques in neuroscience.

Read More