To use an understanding of neuroscience to improve teaching and learning in our schools, by providing specialised courses to teachers and other professionals. This course is currently under development: the program will be available early in 2006.
To develop a course to train young scientists and improve the skills base in South Australian research, through cross-institutional training programs leading to PhDs. Planning for this course is progressing well.
To improve communication with patient groups, special interest bodies and the general community, ensuring that the expert opinion of SANI members is shared widely, through public education.
A new target for drugs?
Many drugs act on specific proteins (“receptors”) located on the outside membrane of nerve cells. Recent work has identified a new receptor, corresponding to a truncated form of the “NK1” receptor (gel on right- “NK-1TR”). Two nerve cells in a sympathetic ganglion both responded to a transmitter that acts on the “NK1” receptor, but only #1 expresses the full receptor (shown in red). Cell #2 must use the truncated form (no red staining). This new receptor type may represent a target for a new class of drugs, although their effects are, as yet, hard to predict.
Source: Judy Morris, Flinders University.