PhD Scholarship Fundraiser

QBI's Ilvana Dzafic was the beneficiary of a fundraising trivia night to support her PhD Scholarship.

Her scholarship is supported by the Sunshine Coast Association of Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFMI) and the Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF).

Miss Dzafic is working on the neuroimaging and genetics of emotion perception in schizophrenia in Professor Bryan Mowry’s laboratory.

The event was attended by members of the IHF and the general public, and Miss Dzafic outlined her research to the audience.

“I am investigating which emotion perception brain regions and networks have aberrant activity and connectivity in schizophrenia and how schizophrenia risk genes influence this dysfunction,” she said.

“I am using functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion weighted imaging as the neuroimaging techniques and for the genetic aspect of my project I will be looking at polygenic risk scores.”

Miss Dzafic meets with the ARAFMI annually to hold fundraising events and provide an update on her research.

She was also featured on the cover of the October issue of IHF’s Healthy Living magazine.

ARC funding for QBI research

The latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) funding resulted in more than $1.6 million to support three ARC Discovery Projects and one ARC DECRA Fellowship at QBI.

Professor Geoffrey Goodhill received three years of funding for work into how the world is represented in the brain by measuring neural activity in zebrafish to discover the basic principles of how this occurs.

Professor Frederic Meunier’s work into unravelling the mechanism of vesicular docking in neurosecretory cells, to better understand the neuronal function in the healthy nervous and hormonal systems, received four years of funding.

Professor Joe Lynch has received three years of funding into understanding the role of zinc in physiological processes, and will look into the level of concentration that zinc reaches in the synaptic cleft and the length of time it remains elevated.

Dr Jana Vukovic received a prestigious Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), which will fund her work into neuronal behaviour within the hippocampal network for three years.

Aleks Brumby Summer Research Scholarship

A second-year Bachelor of Science student at The University of Queensland has been awarded the 2014/15 Aleks Brumby Summer Research Scholarship for her academic merit and research potential.

Sophie Hudson has spent 10 weeks at QBI working in the laboratory of Professor Stephen Williams on a project examining characteristics of neurons subjected to neurodegeneration.

She observed electrical changes in the neurons of animal models with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease developed in the laboratory of Professor Jürgen Götz.

The project is part of the UQ Summer Research Program, which allows undergraduate students the invaluable opportunity to gain experience in a laboratory setting undertaking real-world research.

“I hope that my research may someday contribute to understanding the finer mechanisms of this disease, and to improving the quality of life of people who are afflicted with it,” Sophie said.

Previous recipients of the Aleks Brumby Summer Research Scholarship include Clara Tang (2011/12), Daniel Czech (2012/13) and Luke Sartor (2013/14).