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Translations in Clinical Neuroscience

28 February 2024
4.00pm – 5.00pm AEDT
John & Betty Lynch Seminar Room, Level 3, Neuroscience Research Australia, Barker Street (corner of Easy St), Randwick
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Original knowledge regarding human brain function was largely derived from cellular and animal models. However, the advent of technological advances has led to new concepts in the understanding of signal transmission and brain information processing. This new molecular understanding of the human nervous system, combined with rapid developments across medical imaging technologies has promoted an understanding of the inner workings of the brain and its role in determining behaviour, in addition to tracking plastic change following injury and disease. Presently, there is an unprecedented number of treatments now being introduced to neurological practice. To facilitate progress, there remains a need to expand clinical trial development through establishment of national clinical trials facilities; and to understand the impact of treatments on patients.

Through the establishment of national platforms, the introduction of precision medicine will become commonplace in clinical practice. Separately, the major outcome measures in clinical research often lack sensitivity and do not always provide mechanistic markers of disease severity and progression. Clearly, the selection of appropriate outcome measures for clinical trial development will be critical to future therapeutic success. While there has been progress towards therapy development, improvement in research infrastructure will be necessary to accelerate translation of effective therapies.

Professor Matthew Kiernan is the Chief Executive Officer and Institute Director at Neuroscience Research Australia. He holds appointments as Scientia Professor of Neuroscience at UNSW and Senior Staff Specialist in Neurology at South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, based at Prince of Wales Hospital. He is Chair of the World Federation of Neurology Specialty Group in Neurodegenerative Disease, Chair of the World Congress of Neurology, President of the Brain Foundation and Editor Emeritus of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry (BMJ Publishers UK), having served as Editor-in-Chief from 2010-2022.