In the lead up to World Brain Day, Perron Institute and The University Club will present Brains without Borders where a panel of neuroscientists will discuss their ground-breaking research to enable people with neurological conditions lead a better quality of life.

Leaders in neuroscience for over 40 years Perron Institute is a global collaborator and home to WA’s most successful research breakthroughs team. The Brains Without Borders panel will shine a light on a wide range of neurological research including infant brain injury and stroke; brain plasticity and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; genetics and therapeutics for motor neurone disease; traumatic brain injury and concussion to the new area of neuropharmacogenetics and possible combination with brain stimulation for treatment of depression. Also joining the panel will be an advocate for suicide prevention to discuss prevention strategies which work.
Established in 2014 by The World Federation of Neurology World Brain Day was established to drive home the importance of brain health and promote better neurological care globally.

Anthony AkkariProf Anthony Akkari PhD.
After completing his PhD in neuromuscular disease genetics, Prof Akkari undertook his postdoctoral research at Duke University’s division of Neurology, and then worked in the USA Pharmaceutical Industry. His MND research group at Murdoch Uni and Perron Institute is focused on discovering how short structural variations within the human genome contribute to the missing heritability of MND and how these can be co-developed with therapies for improving the success of MND clinical trials. He is the Chief Scientific Officer of Black Swan Pharmaceuticals.


Sarah HellewellDr Sarah Hellewell BSc (Hons), PhD.
Dr Hellewell is a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University and Perron Institute. Her research incorporates both clinical and preclinical research programs spanning the spectrum of brain injury severity, enabling her to rapidly identify clinical problems and translate “bedside to bench” and back again. Dr Hellewell’s clinical neuroimaging research focuses on the development and implementation of objective tools to quantify and monitor progression of brain pathology in concussion and neurodegenerative disease.

Adam EdwardsDr Adam Edwards PhD.
Dr Edwards is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Perron Institute and UWA where he investigates the role of a novel peptide in preventing a form of brain injury that affects newborn infants as well as developing new MRI techniques to diagnose acute and chronic infant brain injury. In 2023 he was appointed the Neonatal Scientific and Regulatory Advisor for Argenica Therapeutics. Dr Edwards is a specialist editor for the academic journal Frontiers in Neurology.


Claire EardleyClaire Eardley, Founder of the Kai Fella Foundation.
Kai Fella was created with the hope of saving young people’s lives and preventing other families from having to endure such excruciating pain. Suicide is the biggest killer of our youth; we lose seven boys, and two girls, every day. The Foundation was established to help reduce the stigma around suicide and to raise money for prevention strategies that work. Through the Foundation, they deliver Tomorrow Man and Tomorrow Woman workshops to schools and sporting clubs, or anywhere they can reach young people and give them a voice, to reduce the rate of suicide.  26 July 2016 – that was the day Claire’s son Kai chose to end his life.

Jenny RodgerAssoc Prof Jenny Rodger (BSc (Hons), PhD) Moderator.
Assoc Prof. Rodger is the Head of Brain Plasticity Research at UWA and Perron Institute and co-leads the Neuropharmacogenetics project at Perron Institute and is a Senior Research Fellow with Multiple Sclerosis WA. Assoc Prof Rodger completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Biochemistry at the University of Bath in the UK followed by a PhD at the University of Pierre et Marie Curie in France. Her research team investigates mechanisms of brain plasticity and repair, including studies of non – invasive brain stimulation in injured and abnormal brain circuits.


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