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Professor Maarten van den Buuse Professor, Psychology

Prof Maarten van den Buuse is Professor of Neuroscience at La Trobe University, School of Psychology and Public Health, Melbourne. Here he supervises a comprehensive mouse/rat behavioural phenotyping facility, as well as liaises with internationally renowned collaborators in proteomics, gene expression, and psychology. Previously at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, and before that at the Mental Health Research Institute, Melbourne, van den Buuse was Head of the Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory. van den Buuse’s research and skills are focused on central dopaminergic and serotonergic activity in schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses, and the interaction of environmental factors and endocrine status in these illnesses. The approach is multidisciplinary, combining animal behavioural and neurochemical/ molecular techniques and human testing. Since its inception, van den Buuse’s laboratory has grown into the leading research group in Australia for neuropsychopharmacological research into animal models of psychosis. In addition to an honorary position at the University of Melbourne, he was also offered an Adjunct Professor position at James Cook University, Townsville, in 2015.

Research Support: van den Buuse was awarded a NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship A in 2008 and a NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship B in 2012. In recent years he received several NHMRC project grants as senior investigator to directly support his research, including on neurodevelopment, BDNF and behaviour (2009-2011), the role of reelin in schizophrenia (2011-2013), on the interaction between BDNF and sex steroid hormones during adolescent development (2013-2015) and on modeling early intervention in schizophrenia and the role of BDNF (2013-2015). In addition, based on his recognized expertise in behavioural neuroscience, he was invited to be co-CI on several other successful applications. Further laboratory support was obtained from several charitable foundations and La Trobe University internal grants. Postdoctoral training fellowships were awarded to two members of his research group (Dr Andrea Gogos, who went on to receive an ARC DECRA fellowship in 2012 and an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship in 2015, and Dr Rachel Hill, who went on to receive a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship in 2014).

Contribution to field of research: van den Buuse has been first or senior author on 49 peer-reviewed papers in the last five years and throughout his career more than 200 research papers, book chapters or invited reviews. Many of these papers or in high-profile journals such as Molecular Psychiatry, Schizophrenia Bulletin, Neuropsychopharmacology, International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Schizophrenia Research and many others. His total body of published work has been cited more than 5,000 times (Scopus). In addition to publications, productivity is consistently at a high level with numerous national and international conference presentations and invited departmental and institute seminars, as well as Honours and Ph.D. theses.

Peer-review involvement: van den Buuse is on the editorial board of Neuropharmacology, Psychopharmacology, and International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. Other review activities include being manuscript reviewer for several high-level international research journals including Molecular Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, Schizophrenia Research, Schizophrenia Bulletin, Neuropsychopharmacology, European Neuropsychopharmacology, British Journal of Pharmacology, and others.

Contributions to NHMRC and other professional involvement: van den Buuse has been on NHMRC grant review panels in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018 (invited for 2019). In recent years, he reviewed grants and fellowship applications for the NHMRC, National Heart Foundation, Medical Research Council UK (2010), Health Research Council of New Zealand (2011,2017), Pfizer Australia (2008), United Arab Emirates University (2011, 2012), Czech Science Foundation (2012) and a number of Australian universities. He has been the external examiner of several PhD theses from interstate universities. He was a member of the Florey Neuroscience Institutes animal experimentation ethics committee from 2008-2013 and the La Trobe University animal ethics committee starting in 2014. He has also served on the La Trobe University Academic Promotions Committee and the Graduate Research Board.

Prof van den Buuse is a member of the Australian Neuroscience Society (ANS), the Society for Mental Health Research (SMHR), CINP, and the Society for Neuroscience (USA). For several years he was council member of the International Society for Serotonin Research (ISSR, aka Serotonin Club) and became president of this society in 2013. In this capacity, he chaired the society’s role in organizing its bi-annual meeting in Capetown, South Africa, as satellite conference to the World Congress of Pharmacology. He has also been a member of the local organizing committee of the 2013 ASPR (SMHR) meeting in Melbourne. In the last five years he convened and chaired symposia for several national and international conferences, including the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Australian Neuroscience Society, which was selected as the ANS Presidential Symposium for 2013.

International Standing: Van den Buuse presented numerous times at overseas departments and national and international meetings. Recent invited symposium presentations have including the Australasian Schizophrenia Conference (2010), CINP (2010), World Federation of Societies for Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP, 2011), Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference (2011), Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS, 2012 and 2016), International Behavioural Neuroscience Society (IBNS, 2012 and 2014), and International Society for Neurochemistry, Cairns (2015). He was keynote speaker at the 2013 Australasian Schizophrenia Conference, Melbourne.

Supervision and mentoring: Van den Buuse currently (co-)supervises three Ph.D. students and four Honours students. Overall he has supervised 17 Ph.D. students to completion. In 2013 he was the graduate research coordinator of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and in 2018 became graduate research coordinator of the School of Psychology and Public Health at La Trobe University. In addition, over the course of his career he has mentored several postdocotoral fellows.

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