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UQ Events

Yearly events from UQ

Last Build Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2017 05:03:13 +0000


UQ Moreton Bay Research Station Open Day 55th Anniversary

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000

Come and celebrate our 55th Anniversary by meeting the scientists and learning about the work being done from Moreton Bay Research Station. Since 1961, The University of Queensland has supported generations of students and researchers. Join us also for the official launch of the amazing publication “Coral Sea Dreaming” and meet the artist/author Kim Michelle Toft. What’s happening? • Launch of “Coral Sea Dreaming” picture book and on-line tv channel • Free Moreton Bay discovery cruises – Education Queensland • Traditional knowledge sharing – Goompi Trail • Live animal show – Gecko Wildlife • Art workshops with Reverse Garbage • Research talks about work being done from MBRS Cost: Free (children must be accompanied by an adult)

QBI Neuroscience Seminar: `The contribution of dopamine to the model-based world`

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 01:00:00 +0000

Dr Melissa Sharpe - Princeton Neuroscience Institute & National Institute on Drug Abuse Princeton, New Jersey, USA Title: `The contribution of dopamine to the model-based world` Abstract: The finding that dopamine neurons signal errors in prediction was revolutionary for behavioral neuroscience. This is because reinforcement-learning theorists had argued for decades before that prediction errors were the driving force in learning- facilitating associative links between causally-related events. Such learning is now termed “model based”- referring to the development of a rich associative model of the world that can be adapted in the absence of experience and drive novel inferences about the structure of our environment. Yet when this signal was found in the brain it was argued to be synonymous with the model-free prediction error described in Sutton and Barto’s (1981) temporal-difference reinforcement learning (TDRL) model (Schultz, Dayan, and Montague, 1997). This theory has been hugely influential on the field of neuroscience. However, this model-free reinforcement learning algorithm does not endow an agent with causal knowledge of the structure of their environment. Rather, model-free TDRL assigns scalar cached values to stimuli- essentially allowing reward-paired stimuli to gain the scalar value inherent in the reward they predict without causal knowledge of their consequence. If true, this would severely restrict how dopamine can contribute to learning. In this talk, I will present data using optogenetics in rodents showing that the dopamine prediction error does in fact promote the development of rich associations between stimuli to contribute to a model-based representation of the world. I will then show how this model-based signal is utilized at the circuit level. Specifically, I will discuss how the dopamine prediction error interacts with GABAergic projection neurons in the lateral hypothalamus to contribute to the development of model-based associations. Finally, I will present some unexpected data which show that this circuit drives some forms of model-based associations but not others, prompting further research into the neural circuits which interact with the dopamine prediction error to drive cognitive representations of our world.

QBI Neuroscience Seminar: `Why is a single molecule, BACE1, involved with multiple types of ...

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 02:30:00 +0000

Professor Yong Shen - Neurodegenerative Disorder Research Center, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China Title: “Why is a single molecule, BACE1, involved with multiple types of brain disorders?” Abstract: The protease β-site amyloid precursor protein (APP)-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) is required for the production of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide, a molecule central to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer`s disease (AD). Moreover, with advanced technologies, we and others have identified additional substrates for BACE1 and found that BACE1 acting on different substrates has distinct roles in different types of brain disorders. In my talk, I will discuss BACE1 functions in health and a range of brain disorders as well as possible mechanisms of how BACE1 assumes these functions.

QBI Neuroscience Seminar: `Sex-specific targets to Alzheimer’s disease`

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 02:00:00 +0000

Professor Rena Li - Beijing Institute of Brain Disorders, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China Title: `Sex-specific targets to Alzheimer’s disease` Abstract: Reduction of sex hormone levels in menopausal women is associated with several major health risks, including an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Our previously published data showed that female AD patients express significantly less endogenous brain estrogen than age- and gender-matched normal controls. Depletion of endogenous estrogen causes an early onset of AD pathology and elevated beta-secretase (BACE1) enzymatic activity in a female transgenic animal model of AD. Inhibition of BACE1 is an attractive approach to prevent and delay AD progression. The interaction of estrogen and its receptors with specific DNA sequences, the so-called estrogen-responsive elements (EREs), constitutes a critical nuclear signaling pathway. We found an increase in BACE protein and activity levels in APP mice with a depletion of endogenous estrogen, suggesting a regulatory effect of estrogen on BACE in vivo. Two typical EREs and one half-site ERE have been identified in the BACE promoter. While no studies have been published on the effect of estrogen on BACE transcription activity yet, recent investigation showed that the half-site of the ERE or a typical ERE on promoter is responsible for transcriptional regulatory effects of estrogen on the somatostatin receptor and vascular endothelial growth factor. In this study, we investigated the estrogen effect on BACE1 promoter activity using the BACE promoter clones containing EREs. First, we investigated the effect of 17β-estradiol and genistein treatments on BACE1 promoter activity using a Luciferase reporter gene. Our data showed a significant downregulation of BACE1 promoter activity by 17β-estrodial and genistein treatments. We also used estrogen antagonists as well as gene knock down strategies to determine if the estrogen-induced downregulation of BACE1 promoter activity is estrogen receptor-dependent or independent. Furthermore, we mutated one or more of the half-size ERE(s) in the BACE1 promoter and found only specific EREs being responsible for the effects of estrogen on BACE1 transcriptional activity. Taken together, our results suggest that estrogen can downregulate BACE1 at the transcriptional level with a distinct ERE dependency.

John Western Public Lecture

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 07:30:00 +0000

The Human Judge: Between Craft and Profession The Professions in Australia project led by Professor John Western was the first major inquiry into the legal profession. In Australia, the pinnacle of a legal career is judicial appointment. In the half century since the first survey in Western’s ground-breaking research, much has changed. Perhaps most significant is the entry of women into the legal profession, even, eventually into the judiciary. A second major shift is attention to the ordinary, everyday activities of judges and courts, revealing the craftwork needed to manage practical aspects of judicial work. Courts are places of considerable human interaction, and so judicial practice must necessarily entail emotion work, challenging the conventional image of the judge as a detached, dispassionate male figure. Judicial officers are human and increasingly diverse and must deploy human qualities and social skills to effectively perform their legal authority. Speaker bio: This year`s lecture is delivered by Sharyn Roach Anleu, a Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor in Sociology at Flinders University, Adelaide. Professor Roach Anleu is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, a former President of The Australian Sociological Association and previously a member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts. Her research spans gender and the legal profession, regulation, law and social change, guilty pleas, and courts and the judiciary. Since 2000, Sharyn has led the Judicial Research Project, with Emerita Professor Kathy Mack, a multi-year, multi-method, socio-legal study of courts and judicial officers throughout Australia. Lecture history: The late Emeritus Professor John Western became the first professor of sociology at UQ and Head of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology in 1970. Some 26 years later, John retired but continued to be an active researcher, writer and doctoral supervisor. He was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 1984, and was elected to the Swiss Academy of Development in 1989. In 2009, John’s dedication to tertiary education and more specifically the development of sociology nationally and internationally was recognised when he became a member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. John Western passed away on 6 January 2011. The John Western Memorial Lecture is a biennial public lecture jointly sponsored by the Institute for Social Science Research and the School of Social Science at The University of Queensland to commemorate John Western’s contribution to the social sciences.

OP Results Advice Night

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 06:00:00 +0000

OP Results Advice Night is the perfect opportunity to discuss your study options at UQ after receiving your OP. If your OP is higher or lower than expected, our staff are available to provide advice on entry requirements and pathways to your ideal program at UQ. Seminars and campus tours will commence at 4.00pm.