2014 NHMRC funding
QBI was recently awarded more than $9 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), with $5.5 million awarded in 11 NHMRC Project Grants and the remainder awarded in Fellowships.
Principally, Professor Naomi Wray received two grants for her work into genetics and genomics, gaining $918,784 for gene discovery in motor neuron disease and $610,529 for a multivariate whole genome estimation and prediction analysis of genomics data applied to psychiatric disorders. She also received a Principal Research Fellowship to apply genomics methods in psychiatry.
Professor Peter Visscher was awarded a highly prestigious Senior Principal Research Fellowship to investigate DNA technologies and statistical genomics.
Professor Pankaj Sah received a Principal Research Fellowship to better understand and develop targeted therapeutics for anxiety-related disorders.
Professor Stephen Williams was awarded $861,300 for work into the role of dendritic information processing in visual circuit computations, to further our understanding of sensory systems.
Associate Professor Ross Cunnington was awarded $570,364 to perform high-resolution brain imaging of basal ganglia function using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to increase knowledge of the central nervous system.
QBI hosted the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness annual international conference (ASSC18), which was held in Australia for the first time.
Over four days, hundreds of attendees heard presentations on topics ranging from studying pain, sleep, quantitative measures for consciousness, attention and what captures our attention.
Local conference organiser Associate Professor Bruno van Swinderen from QBI said to mark the first time the conference has been held in Australia, the conference covered indigenous topics.
“The conference is a mix between psychology, philosophy and neuroscience, and talks about the scientific study of consciousness,” he said.
“Do fish feel pain, and if they do, what does that mean?
“By having philosophers there it gives the field that ethical take about who and what we are, as well as the environment around us.”
The conference closed with a free public lecture at the Queensland State Library by author and international cognitive neuroscience leader Professor Stanislas Dehaene of the Collège de France.
In 2014, Professor Dahaene won the prestigious €1 million Brain Prize for his pioneering research into higher brain mechanisms.
Peter Goodenough Memorial Lecture
Professor Patrick Sullivan of the University of North Carolina delivered the annual Peter Goodenough Memorial Lecture on Wednesday 10 September at QBI.
Professor Sullivan presented three stories around the challenges and progress made in identifying the genetic basis of schizophrenia in recent years.
He spoke about the unprecedented international collaborations that have recently delivered exciting findings; the findings themselves, and finally how to use the findings—moving on from “finding” the genes to “using” the genes to improve diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
Professor Sullivan is the Director of the Center for Psychiatric Genomics at the University of North Carolina, where his laboratory studies the molecular genetics and pharmacogenetics of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and anorexia nervosa.
The Peter Goodenough Memorial Lecture is named in honour of the late Mr Peter Goodenough, whose personal battle with motor neuron disease (MND) led to an inspirational bequest to establish, staff and support the Peter Goodenough and Wantoks Research Laboratory at QBI.