State of Play


State of Play is a Webinar Series organised by MND Research Australia. The webinars began in 2020 and are open to all members of the MND Community to provide an introduction to the advancements of the research community in Australia. Seminars will be held monthly throughout 2021. 

Details for the 2021 series of State of Play are below

Seminar Four - Tuesday July 13 2021 at 7pm (AEST)
Hear about the MiNDAUS partnership from Geoff Thomas OAM and the latest on medical literacy and treatment choice in MND from Associate Professor Michelle Farrar. 
Click here to sign up. 

Seminar Three - Tuesday June 15 2021 at 7pm (AEST)
"How does the immune system play a role in MND?" with Dr Nicole Fewings and Dr John Lee 
Watch online here

Seminar Two - Wednesday May 5 2021 at 7pm (AEST)
Join us for MND Week and Ask the Research Experts:
"Genes: causes and treatments for MND" with Dr Emily McCann and Professor Anthony Akkari
Watch online here

Seminar One - Tuesday 20 April at 7pm (AEST)
"Attacking the causes of MND" with Dr Alan Yu and Dr Luke McAlary
Watch online here 


The 2020 4-part series of State of Play can now be accessed through the MND Australia youtube channel, located here. See below for descriptions of each webinar. 

Seminar One - Tuesday 24 November at 7pm (AEDT)
Step Into the Lab: What can mice models and stem-cells teach us about MND?

Dr Samantha Barton
Dr Samantha Barton works in the Motor Neurone Disease Laboratory at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. Dr Barton is the 2020 recipient of the MND Research Australia 'Jenny Simko MND Research Grant' titled: Could abnormal myelin composition be exacerbating neuronal dysfunction in MND? 

Dr Adam Walker
Dr Adam Walker heads up the Walker Group at the University of Queensland's QBI (Queensland Brain Institute). The Walker group are investigating the malfunction of an essential protein known as TDP-43, which malfunctions in motor neurone disease and frontotemporal dementia - both fatal neurodegenerative diseases that currently lack effective treatments. Dr Walker is the 2020 MND Research Australia recipient of the MNDRA Innovator Grant titled: New mouse models of TDP-43 pathology. 

Seminar Two - Tuesday, 1 December at 7pm (AEDT)
Improving Care: Novel Therapies and the Impacts of Healthcare Decision-Making​

Dr David Berlowitz
Dr David Berlowitz is a physiotherapist who leads an international team who examine the causes and treatments of sleep and breathing disorders in neuromuscular disease, especially in Spinal Cord Injury and Motor Neurone Disease. Dr Berlowitz is the 2020 recipient of MND Research Australia's Mavis Gallienne and Graham Lang MND Victoria Research Grant titled: NIV@Home. 

Camille Paynter
Camille Paynter is a PhD candidate at the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne. Ms Paynter is the recipient of MND Research Australia's PhD Scholarship Top-Up Grant (2018 - 2020) titled: A longitudinal study of involvement in health care decision-making in motor neurone disease: Patient and caregiver perceptions, impact of communication and swallowing difficulties, and quality of life​.

Seminar Three - Tuesday, 8 December at 7pm (AEDT)
Measuring Progression: How is the progression of MND measured?

Dr Mehdi van den Bos 

Dr Mehdi van den Bos is a neurologist at Westmead Hospital. Dr van den Bos is the 2020 MND Research Australia recipient of the Beryl Bayley MND Postdoctoral Fellowship titled: Deep learning as a tool to advance the diagnosis and pathophysiological understanding of ALS. 

Dr Mary-Louise Rogers
Dr Mary-Louise Rogers works from Flinders University and her research focuses on treatment strategies and biomarker discovery for motor neurone disease. Dr Rogers is the 2020 MND Research Australia recipient of the MNDRA Innovator Grant titled: Urinary Neopterin as a candidate biomarker that can be used to test disease progress in clinical trials for Motor Neurone Disease.  

Seminar Four - Tuesday, 15 December at 7pm (AEDT)
Pathways to treatment: What do brain activity and metabolism have to do with MND?​

Dr Frederik Steyn
Dr Frederik Steyn works at the University of Queensland and is undertaking studies to improve our understanding of neurodegenerative disease, including motor neurone disease. These studies have included creating methodologies for improved assessment of energy expenditure in patients with MND and developing a research platform that has received traction for improved detection of hypermetabolism in neurodegenerative disease. Dr Steyn is the 2020 recipient of MND Research Australia's Fat Rabbit MND Research Grant titled: Tipping the Scales on MND: Preclinical testing of a compound with multiple actions to slow disease progression in MND​. 

Dr Richard Gordon
Dr Richard Gordon works at the University of Queensland and conducts research into topics including clinical biomarkers for Parkinson's and MND, drug repurposing for progressive neurodegeneration and immune and inflammatory mechanisms in neurodegenerative disease. Dr Gordon is the 2020 recipient of MND Research Australia's Col Bambrick MND Research Grant titled: Targeting inflammasome-driven neuropathology and motor neuron death in MND using a clinically approved cancer drug​. 
This research seminar series has been generously funded by the Department of Social Services' National Disability Conference Initiative. MND Australia and MND Research Australia are very grateful for the opportunity to run this seminar series. 

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