Invited Speakers

The 2019 Local Organising Conference are pleased to welcome the following invited speakers to the Adelaide meeting:

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Hollis Cline, PhD

Hahn Professor of Neuroscience
Department of Neuroscience Co-chair 
California Campus

Hollis Cline, PhD, is the Hahn Professor of Neuroscience and co-chair of the Department of Neuroscience at Scripps Research. Dr. Cline is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received the prestigious NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. Dr. Cline is a Past President of the Society for Neuroscience. She received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, followed by postdoctoral training at Yale and Stanford Universities. Her research has demonstrated the roles of a variety of activity-dependent mechanisms in controlling structural plasticity of neuronal dendrites and axons, synaptic maturation and topographic map formation. This work has helped to generate a comprehensive understanding of the role of experience in shaping brain development.


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Professor Jose Manuel Alonso

Distinguished Professor
College of Optometry
State University of New York
New York, USA

Jose Manuel is a Distinguished Professor at the State University of New York, College of Optometry. He received an MD from the University of Santiago de Compostela and a PhD from the University Autonoma of Madrid in Spain. He then won a Fulbright fellowship to work as a postdoctoral student in the laboratory of Torsten Wiesel at Rockefeller University in New York. His laboratory started at the University of Connecticut and then moved at the State University of New York. His work contributed to understanding the role of thalamocortical and cortical circuits in visual processing. He recently discovered that the visual cortex devotes more resources to process dark than light features in visual scenes, a finding that could help explain an old visual illusion dating back to Galileo Galilei.


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Professor Geoffery Goodhill

Professor Mathematics
Queensland Brain Institute

Professor Goodhill's lab is interested in how brains process information, particularly during development. This includes how growing nerve fibres use molecular cues to make guidance decisions, how map-like representations of visual inputs form in the optictectum and visual cortex, and how these maps code sensory information. He is addressing these questions using a combination of mathematical, experimental and computational techniques. Members of the lab come from diverse backgrounds including biology, mathematics, physics and computer science.

Prof Goodhill originally trained in Mathematics, Physics, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science in the UK, and then spent 10 years in the USA as Professor at Georgetown University in Washington DC, where he was awarded tenure 2 years early. He moved to the University of Queensland in 2005. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers including in Nature Neuroscience, 4 in Neuron, 3 in PNAS and 8 in Trends in Neurosciences. In 2014 he received the Paxinos-Watson prize from the Australasian Neuroscience Society for a paper in Neuron. Since moving to Australia he has been awarded 11 ARC Discovery and NHMRC Project grants and a Simons Foundation grant as Chief Investigator A, and numerous other national and international grants as a co-CI. He has trained over 30 PhD students and postdocs, many of whom are now faculty members in universities worldwide, or work as scientists in tech companies such as Google Deepmind. From 2005-2010 he was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Network: Computation in Neural Systems, and he is currently on the Editorial Boards of Neural Computation, Brain Informatics and Scientific Reports. He has reviewed manuscripts for over 60 different journals and grants for 15 different research agencies worldwide. In 2006 he founded the Australian Workshop on Computational Neuroscience which now runs annually, and in 2015 he founded the Systems and Computational Neuroscience DownUnder (SCiNDU) conference which now runs bi-annually. During his career he has taught courses in Medical Neuroscience, Developmental Neuroscience, Mathematical Neuroscience and Scientific Computing. Besides giving many radio interviews and public lectures about his work he has also written several articles for The Conversation and given a TEDx talk.


Selena BartlettProfessor Selena Bartlett

Group Leader Neuroscience and Obesity, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, QUT

Professor Bartlett thinks there is nothing more exciting than being a neuroscientist in the 21st century. Her research laboratory is focussed on addiction and obesity with a strong emphasis on translation into practice. Most recently the lab has shown that sugar is as addictive as alcohol and nicotine and developed a mHealth intervention to tackle obesity by reducing sugar intake. In previous roles she was the Director of a translational research program at the Gallo Research Center at UCSF, USA before returning to Australia. She has received a number of awards, 90 scientific publications, and recently have written books for a lay audience, given a TEDx talk, developed smart phone apps, and founded a digital health company for addiction.  Her ongoing passion is to translate neuroscience research to improve the lives of people.


Untitled designProfessor Pamela McCombe

Professor McCombe is a graduate of the Medical School of the University of Queensland.  She trained in Neurology at Prince Henry/Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, and then obtained a PhD from the University of Sydney. This was the start of her interest in Neuroimmunology .  She is now a Neurologist at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and  Professor at the Faculty of Medicine  at University of Queensland. She is President-Elect of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists. Her research interests are broad, and encompass autoimmune diseases of the nervous system as well as immune response to acquired diseases of the brain.  She has published on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, Guillain Barre syndrome and CIDP, stroke and motor neurone disease.  She has a special interest in the role of gender and of pregnancy in neurological and immune disease.