2 Headlines Kia ora Welcome to our August edition of Headlines and the first round of successful grant recipients for the 2020/21 financial year! I am excited to announce $1.83 million has been awarded towards neurological research in our latest grant round. The potential and passion for research really shines throughout the projects we fund, and this time was no different. We have projects touching on Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke rehabilitation, to name a few, as well as several fellowships awarded for the continuation of careers of aspiring scientists and clinicians. Reading through all the innovative applications that were submitted for this grant round, reminds me of why we do what we do. These scientists and clinicians are fully dedicated to their research, to discover the next breakthrough that could change the future of someone living with a neurological condition – and that is a future I’m proud to be a part of. I am delighted to share with you research from two Motor Neuron Disease (MND) scientists we funded to attend the inaugural MND New Zealand Research Conference in New Zealand. They had the opportunity to share and discuss their research and the future of MND at the symposium held last December. I know many of you will enjoy reading about their research and the future of the disease as MND affects over 450 people in New Zealand at any given time. The team has also been connecting with all of our funded scientists and clinicians who have been affected by the lockdown due to COVID-19. Many of them wanted to extend their gratitude to you directly and so we’ve included some of their stories in this edition (page 13). Your generous support throughout the years, and the support of those who have left gifts in their wills, has been crucial in enabling the research continues. You have played a vital role in ensuring their research and progress could continue after lockdown. I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for your continuous support of the Foundation. This year had a rocky start with the emergence of COVID-19, with no one knowing what that would mean for the research we’re so passionate about. So, thank you for your generous support during this time. We are all excited to see what the future holds, and we are overjoyed for you to be a part of it. I’d love to hear from you about what project you’re most excited to learn more about from this grant round. We enjoy the opportunity to chat with our dedicated supporters, so please get in touch. Mā te wā Rich Easton, CEO Contact us Neurological Foundation, PO Box 110022 Auckland Hospital, Auckland 1148 Phone: 09 309 7749 Free call: 0508 BRAINS (0508 272 467) Email: Website: If you are moving, please let us know your new address so that you don’t miss the next issue of Headlines. Donor Relations Contacts Upper North Island Donor Relations Specialist Theresa Liebenberg 027 233 0710 Lower North Island Donor Relations Specialist Margie Carter 021 042 8114 South Island Donor Relations Specialist Kellie Bain 027 478 8536 Contents Message from our Chief Executive Events update Uncovering the secrets of neuroinflammation Raising hope from Cape Reinga to Bluff Summer studentships: discovering their passion for research Latest grant round funding Neurological research beyond COVID-19 Brain talks: The future of Motor Neuron Disease research 3 4–5 6–7 8–9 10–12 13–17 18–19 Headlines are printed on paper from responsible resources