Scientific Advisory Board

Gary Housley

Gary Housley


M.Sc. Ph.D 

Prof. Gary Housley holds the Chair in Physiology at the University of New South Wales, where he is the founding Director of the Translational Neuroscience Facility. He brings thirty years of leadership experience prosecuting research programs in the Brain Sciences, spanning from neuroscience discovery to clinical trials.

He completed M.Sc. and Ph.D. studies at the University of Auckland (New Zealand), and post-doctoral research in the U.S.A. and U.K. in cellular and molecular neuroscience in sensori-motor circuits. In 2005 he was awarded the prestigious Royal Society of New Zealand James Cook Fellowship in Health Sciences to undertake international collaborative studies on the molecular physiology of auditory neuropathy. He was recruited to UNSW Sydney in 2006 to establish the translational neuroscience initiative in the School of Medical Sciences.

He has published over 160 primary publications in the areas of molecular and systems neuroscience, receiving broad scientific and lay commentary, and his success in research translation is reflected by 7 patent filings and a National Health and Research Council – funded multi-centre clinical trial of DNA therapeutics for auditory nerve regeneration. The impact of his research has been recognised by medals from both the New Zealand and Australian Physiological Societies. He has served on executive bodies of those Societies, is a board member of a several prominent neuroscience journals and is member of the operations groups for the Australian National Imaging Facility and the Sydney Brain Bank.

The innovative brain injury model his research team has developed, recently published in the journal Translational Stroke Research, has been central to the identification of Nyrada Inc. lead compounds. He is a co-inventor of the Nyrada Inc. neuroprotection technology.

Junichi Nabekura

Junichi Nabekura



Prof. Junichi Nabekura - A leading researcher in the field of neuroscience and in particular neural circuit plasticity in the injured brain.

Junichi Nabekura, Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience and Director of the National Institute of Physiological Sciences (NIPS) in Okazaki, one of the top Neuroscience research institutions in Japan.

Prof. Nabekura graduated from Kyushu University in 1987, undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University, and held academic posts at various Universities across Japan (Tohoku, Akita, Kyushu) before being appointed Professor at NIPS in 2003. His research is focused on neuronal circuit wiring and plasticity during development and following injury measured using electrophysiology and in vivo imaging approaches, and he has published over 130 journal articles (with ≈5,000 citations) in this area. This has included discoveries of transmitter switching at single inhibitory synapses and impact of changes in Cl homeostasis on inhibitory transmission in development and injury.

Over the past decade Prof. Nabekura has been amongst the pioneers in applying two-photon imaging to investigate neural circuit plasticity in the living brain. In particular, the work of his group focuses on how glia contribute to cortical circuit plasticity during development and learning, and during the rewiring that occurs after injury. They have recently reported on microglia as surveyors of cortical synapse integrity in health and ischemic brain, and how astrocytes contribute to synapse and circuit rewiring in chronic pain conditions.

Prof. Nabekura also plays a prominent role in Science leadership in Japan, having served as a Senior Program Officer for both the Ministry of Education, Sports, Science and Technology and the Japan Society for Promotion of Science.

Jim Palmer

Jim Palmer



Jim brings over 30 years of experience of drug discovery programs targeting oncology, cardiovascular, inflammation, joint and bone disease, and infectious diseases.

Formerly, Jim was employed by Biota Pharmaceuticals as Director, Drug Discovery, responsible for coordinating Biota’s antibacterial research discovery program. Prior to this he was Head of Chemistry at Cytopia, from 2007-2009. Before joining Cytopia, Jim was Senior Director, Medicinal Chemistry, at Celera Genomics, in San Francisco, where he led the team that discovered Imbruvica® (ibrutinib), now approved for CLL and other indications. Jim’s teams have contributed to the discovery and development of several other clinical and late stage preclinical candidates, including odanacatib (Phase III, Merck, osteoporosis), momelotinib (Phase III, Gilead/Sierra Oncology, myelofibrosis), abexinostat (Phase II, Pharmacyclics, oncology), and K11777 (UCSF/OneWorld Health, Chagas disease).

He undertook post-doctoral studies at Purdue University, having obtained a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (1979, Old Dominion University) and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry (1985, Purdue University), and has co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations, and is an inventor on over three dozen issued patents and published applications.