Researcher

Dr J Bertran-Gonzalez

My Expertise

https://www.neuromodulab.org/

Our team has a broad interest in Systems Neuroscience: we are particularly interested in studying how learning is encoded brain circuits, and how new behaviours that did not exist before imprint in neuronal circuits when they are generated, matured and adapted upon changes in environmental rules. We focus our studies on neuromodulatory systems (e.g. dopamine, acetylcholine, neuropeptides) supporting plasticity in subcortical brain networks (striatum, basal ganglia pathways), a central process for generating and modifying voluntary behaviours. We capitalise on animal learning theory, allowing us to design accurate behavioural paradigms that expose very specific forms of learning, and we deploy a series of quantitative fluorescence techniques as well as in vivo approaches to explore neuronal correspondence. Using mice as experimental model, the approach taken includes instrumental conditioning, AAV-based circuit- and cell-specific tracing and manipulation in behaving animals, in vivo photometry and computational analysis of behavioural and neuronal data. We are also interested in studying how these systems fail by modelling certain pathologies in mice such as age-associated motivational decline and behavioural control disorders.

Fields of Research (FoR)

Neurosciences, Animal Behaviour, Animal Physiology - Systems

Biography

Jan 2021 - Dec 2024: Australian research Council Future Fellow, Head of Neuromodulatory Systems & Behaviour Team, Decision Neuroscience Laboratory (School of Psychology, The University of New South Wales, Australia).

Sept 2019 - : Senior Lecturer, Head of Neuromodulatory Systems & Behaviour Team, Decision Neuroscience Laboratory (School of Psychology, The University of New South Wales, Australia).

Sept 2016 - Aug 2019: Australian Research...view more

Jan 2021 - Dec 2024: Australian research Council Future Fellow, Head of Neuromodulatory Systems & Behaviour Team, Decision Neuroscience Laboratory (School of Psychology, The University of New South Wales, Australia).

Sept 2019 - : Senior Lecturer, Head of Neuromodulatory Systems & Behaviour Team, Decision Neuroscience Laboratory (School of Psychology, The University of New South Wales, Australia).

Sept 2016 - Aug 2019: Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow based in the Decision Neuroscience Laboratory (School of Psychology, The University of New South Wales, Australia).

Nov 2012-Aug 2016: Research Fellow at the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Australia). Director: Prof Jürgen Götz

Oct 2010-Oct 2012: Postdoctoral Researcher at the Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory (Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney, Australia). Supervisor: Prof. Bernard Balleine

Dec 2009-Sept 2010: Postdoctoral Researcher at U839 INSERM (Paris, France). Supervisor: Prof Jean-Antoine Girault

Sept 2007-Nov 2009: Doctoral Thesis (Université Pierre et Marie Curie; conferral date: 12 May 2010): In vivo study of segregated signaling responses of striatonigral and striatopallidal neurons in BAC transgenic mice. Laboratory: Neurotransmission and signaling (UPMC, Paris, France) Supervisor: Dr Denis Hervé/Prof Jean-Antoine Girault. Qualification: Special Mention

Jan-July 2007: Master project in Biomedical Research (BIOMED). Laboratory : U839, INSERM (Paris, France). Supervisor : Dr Emmanuel Valjent

Sep-Dec 2006: Research stay at the Department of Neuropharmacology at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona). Supervisor: Prof. Rafael Maldonado.

Jan-June 2006: Graduation Project (Universitat Pompeu Fabra). Laboratory : U839, INSERM (Paris, France). Supervisor : Dr Emmanuel Valjent

2001-2006: Human Biology studies in the Health and Life Sciences Faculty (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)


My Grants

2021-2023 ARC Discovery Project (CI1 Matamales; CI2 Bertran-Gonzalez) [DP210102700: $378,205]

2021-2024 ARC Future Fellowship [FT200100502: $912,402]

2019-2021 ARC Discovery Project (Lead CI) [DP190102511: $464,678]

2019-2021 NHMRC New Investigator Project Grant (CIA) [APP1165990: $397,754.12]

2016-2019 ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award [DE160101275: $375,000]

2018 UNSW Goldstar Award (Lead CI) [DP180102797: $40,000]

2016 UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme (co-investigator) [RG163114: $200,000]


My Awards

2020 Dean of Science Early Career Excellence Award (UNSW)

2018 Goldstar Award (University of New South Wales)

2017 Paxinos-Watson Award (Australasian Neuroscience Society 2016)

2017 Scientific Mobility Program (Australian Academy of Science and Embassy of France)

2016 Discovery Early Career Research Award (Australian Research Council)

2013 Scientific Mobility Program (Australian Academy of Science and Embassy of France)

2008 Prix Forum FENS 2008 (Societé des Neurosciences, France)


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

I am available to supervise Honours and Master of Psychology (Clinical and Forensic) students. My students’ research projects aim to determine the neuronal processes by which actions are planned, executed and optimised. For this, we use mouse models of instrumental action and we take advantage of modern transgenic and microscopy technologies to visualise circuit activity in the brains of trained animals.


Currently supervising

Lachlan Ferguson (PhD Student)

 


My Engagement

I am Co-Director of the Australasian Course in Advanced Neuroscience (ACAN), and member of the Australasian Neuroscience Society ACAN Management Committee.


My Teaching

NEUR3221 Neurophysiology (UNSW)

PSYC4103 Elective Course (UNSW)

Australasian Course in Advanced Neuroscience ACAN (Director of the Systems Neuroscience & Behaviour Theme, week 3)

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Location

L4 Rm 406 Mathews building

Map reference (Google map)

Contact

(02) 9385 2388

Videos

Matamales et al. Neuron 90(2); 362-373. http://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(16)00185-9