NZBRI Science Fair

Join us to hear the latest findings from local neurological research (e.g. Parkinson’s). Graduate students and academic staff, from the New Zealand Brain Research Institute [NZBRI], and Universities of Canterbury & Otago, will present findings in a quick-fire oral session followed by time to view posters and ask questions. Hosted by MSPC, a wide range of topics will be covered, including hallucinations, brain imaging, and speech changes.


Date: 26 March 2024
Time: 12.30-3pm (talks from 1-2pm)
Place: Braintree, 70 Langdons Road
Cost: Koha

Register Here


Based in Christchurch, the New Zealand Brain Research Institute improves brain-health through research, education and clinical practice. They are the only independent brain research institute in New Zealand and work collaboratively with the Universities of Canterbury and Otago, the Canterbury District Health Board and others, to run high-quality research and offer research opportunities to both emerging and established researchers from all over the world.



Introducing the Atypical Parkinson’s Network

Miriam Collins – Study Database Manager at New Zealand Brain Research Institute (NZBRI). Miriam works across several projects, with main responsibilities involving the setup and monitoring of study databases, followed by subsequent data analyses.


Investigating a biomarker for Parkinson’s disease in tears.

Jemima Ganderton – PhD student - University of Canterbury & NZBRI



Dementia Prevention Research Clinics: A Longitudinal Study

Marie Goulden – Research Co-ordinator at NZBRI
Vanessa Gray – Clinical Psychologist at NZBRI
Marie and Vanessa are key personnel for the Christchurch arm of the national network of Dementia Prevention Research Clinics (DPRC), which investigates a wide range of factors that influence the development and progression of memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease in New Zealanders.



Introducing the New Zealand Parkinson’s Progression Programme (NZP3)

Sophie Grenfell – Assistant Research Fellow at NZBRI
Works primarily on the New Zealand Parkinson’s Progression Programme (NZP3) which is investigating the progressive change in people with Parkinson’s disease over time.



Key findings from the New Zealand Parkinson’s Progression Programme (NZP3)

Rachel Nolan – Research Support Team Manager at NZBRI
Works on NZP3 with Sophie, investigating longitudinal changes in cognition, everyday functions, and movement in people with Parkinson’s disease.



Investigation of Visual Hallucinations in Parkinson's Disease

Ann Holden – PhD candidate - University of Otago & NZBRI


Anxiety in Parkinson’s

Dr Kyla-Louise Horne – Neuroscientist - NZBRI and University of Otago, Christchurch.
A current Canterbury Medical Research Foundation Emerging Researchers Fellowship recipient, Kyla’s research focuses on better understanding cognition and neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as anxiety and hallucinations, that may occur in different neurodegenerative conditions, including Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease.



Cognitive Health in Parkinson’s Disease

Wendy Mayes – Assistant Research Fellow at NZBRI
Works on the CT (Cognitive Testing) Study looking into the cognitive health of patients with Parkinson's Disease (PD). Using cognition and brain biomarker predictors from EEG and MRI baseline data along with memory and thinking sessions, we hope to determine why some patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment develop cognitive decline and others don't.



Brain Imaging in Parkinson’s

Assoc Prof Tracy Melzer – Imaging Research Manager at NZBRI & Associate Professor at University of Otago, Christchurch
His primary focus is on the development and application of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) techniques to advance our understanding of brain function.



Positive news as MS life expectancy nears that of the rest of the community

Dr Daniel Myall – Bioinformatics Manager & Data Scientist at NZBRI
Involved with the computational, mathematical, and statistical modelling of neurodegenerative disorders.


New Zealand Parkinson’s Environment & Genes Study

Dr Toni Pitcher – Research and Operations Manager & Senior Research Fellow at NZBRI and Senior Research Fellow, University of Otago, Christchurch
She is involved in a number of projects relating to Parkinson’s and dementia. She co-ordinates the collection, storage, and use of biological samples (blood and urine) and leads epidemiology projects, providing much needed information about people in New Zealand living with Parkinson’s



Cortical cholinergic pathway integrity and cognition in Parkinson’s disease

Nicky Slater – Research Co-ordinator at New Zealand Brain Research Institute
Nicky recently completed her PhD thesis, which focused on the investigation of the cholinergic brain pathways that are crucial for healthy brain function and how they might change with cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s