Editor Danelle Clayton Contributors Thorne Snow Stephanie Murdoch Design The Design Cellar Ltd Cover A close-up of neurons taken by the powerful microscope used in Dr Shane Ohline’s research at the University of Otago. ISSN 0114-9768 CONTACTUS 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 Theresa Liebenberg – 027 233 0710 Margie Carter – 021 042 8114 Kim Maunder – 021 642 485 Headlines is printed on paper from responsible resources Message from our Chief Executive Kia ora kōtou, These issues of Headlines are always my favourite. The ones where we get to share with you, our supporters, the results of our grant rounds. Besides enabling New Zealand researchers and clinicians to study what they love, these grant rounds also mark a collective step further on the pathway to hope. Twice a year, thanks to your support, we welcome into the world of neuroscience more research that has the potential to change the lives of those affected by neurological conditions. In this issue, I’m pleased to share with you the results of our first grant round for 2022. From a blood test that may be able to detect Alzheimer’s disease, to investigating the packaging of DNA and its relationship to brain development – there’s no shortage of ingenuity, talent, and hope. I’m especially excited that we are awarding another O’Brien Clinical Fellowship. Zay Melville will be looking at how the balance system is affected in sensory neuropathies, bringing together a number of disciplines in her research. The full grant round list can be found on pages 12-14. In this issue we’re also focusing on memory, which is, as you’ll learn, one of the most important fields of study in neuroscience. A special thank you to the researchers who contributed, as well as Alzheimers New Zealand for sharing with us more about their important mahi. It’s a pleasure to collaborate in the neurological arena with other incredible charities, and I’m excited about what we can achieve together. Lastly, I wanted to thank Stephanie Murdoch, one of our Marketing and Engagement Coordinators, who took the time to interview me and share my story on pages 16-17. As you’ll read, my reason for being here might not be dissimilar to your own. One way or another, we’re all affected by neurological conditions. That’s just the reality. The hope comes in how we’re coming together to change that reality. Thank you all for allowing me to be a part of that. Mā te wā, Rich Easton 2 Headlines Our upcoming events A closer look at memory Unscrambling the egg for memory research Ten Years On: John Reynolds on his potentially game-changing medical device Smell could be key to treating several brain diseases The self-healing brain? Harnessing the power of newborn neurons A message from Alzheimers New Zealand Supporter Merle Vlasblom shares her story Announcing our grant recipients for round 2022A A blood test for Alzheimer’s? Meet our CEO: Rich Easton Research from around the globe Contents 3 4-5 6 7 7 8-9 10 11 12-14 15 16-17 18-19