Hypothalamic Neuroscience and Neuroendocrinology Australasia

We are an Australasian research group studying the interactions between hormones/neurotransmitters in the brain, its structure and the effects on homeostasis

About HNNA

Welcome to HNNA, an Australasian grouping of neuroendocrinologists and neuroscientists interested in understanding how the brain controls hormone secretion, and how hormones act to influence brain function.

HNNA’s mission is to foster an inclusive, engaged and diverse group of researchers and support research in neuroendocrinology and neuroscience in Australasia. We aim to achieve this through regular meetings, symposia and seminars.

The group started off life as “Neuroendocrinology Australasia”, with a focus on classical neuroendocrine relationships between the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, as well as the pituitary-dependent endocrine hormones. More recently, it has become apparent that many of our scientists were interested in broader relationships between hormones in various body systems and how they influence brain function. For example, hormones from stomach, gut, fat and pancreas all act in the hypothalamus to influence food intake. Hence, we have tried to recognize this breadth but adopting “Hypothalamic Neuroscience” as part of our name.

These “neuroendocrine” interactions of hormones within the brain have critical roles in many important body processes including development, metabolism, reproduction, behavior and our ability to deal with stress. Consequently, neuroendocrine interactions are important in a variety of disease states, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, infertility, anxiety and depression.

HNNA represents the neuroscientists and neuroendocrinologists in Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia on the council of the International Neuroendocrine Federation (INF). The INF supports major international meetings in Neuroendocrinology, as well as providing training opportunities for students interested in this field


HNNA would like to congratulate the winners of the publication prizes for 2020. The papers were judged on Anticipated future impact; Quality of work, Scope of work; and Relevance to HNNA field. We would like to thank everyone for submitting papers, and it was a privilege to read the great science coming from the HNNA fraternity.
The winners were, across 3 categories:

PhD: Soniya Xavier (first author) for “High Maternal Omega-3 Supplementation Dysregulates Body Weight and Leptin in Newborn Male and Female Rats: Implications for Hypothalamic Developmental Programming” (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33396616/)

Post Doc: Claire Foldi (last author) for “Suppression of corticostriatal circuit activity improves cognitive flexibility and prevents body weight loss in activity-based anorexia in rat” (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32892984/)

Group Leader: Andrew Lawrence (last author) for “Acetylcholine Muscarinic M 4 Receptors as a Therapeutic Target for Alcohol Use Disorder: Converging Evidence From Humans and Rodents” (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32331824/)

Get writing and submitting for the chance at glory in the 2021 round!

Meetings & Symposia

Virtual Seminar Series

TransTasman Seminar Series

Prof Amanda Page (The University of Adelaide)
The impact of pregnancy on gastrointestinal satiety signals

May 20th 2022 – 1pm ACST, 1:30pm AEST, 3:30pm NZT

Click here to download the event’s information

Annual Meeting

Coming soon!


Become a member to stay in the loop for all our exciting scientific achievements!

By becoming a member of HNNA, you automatically become a member of the International Neuroendocrine Federation (INF).

Membership fees were decided at the HNNA symposium in 2017 and set at $150 for two years for a group subscription of 3 people or less and $400 for two years for a larger group. To become a member click on the button. Lab heads need to sign up first and invite members of their lab to join.

Research Opportunities

Coming soon!