We would like to welcome our new team member to the NNBF. Dr Sarel Brand is a registered pharmacist with post-graduate experience in translational neuroscience and pharmacology. He completed his PhD at the NWU in Potchefstroom with a thesis titled “The development and validation of an animal model of treatment resistant depression”. During the project, a gene-x-environment approach was applied by combining a stress-restress rat model of PTSD with a genetic animal model of depression. Subsequently, the model and its response to traditional vs. novel antidepressant treatment approaches were investigated by performing behavioural and neurochemical analyses to evaluate its face, predictive and construct validity, resulting in the publication of several peer-reviewed articles. Sarel also received training on in vivo microdialysis at Aarhus University in Denmark and presented results from his PhD studies at local and international conferences.
Sarel has joined the Water Research Group (#NWU_WRG) at the North-West University as a post-doctoral fellow and is involved in research pertaining to the Department of Science and Technology’s Nano-HSE Risk Research Platform. Sarel has proven to add significant (p<0.05) knowledge to the team with his pharmacological background. With his experience in behavioural research on rat models there has been a successful implementation of Zebrafish models using Noldus EthoVision XT tracking software. The team has applied behavioural responses to several studies currently running within the NNBF and are currently linking these to biomarker responses. A nano welcome Dr Brand and we look forward to many years of graphs with small error bars, nanomaterials that don't agglomerate and tracking that keeps the same detection settings throughout.