Over 19–20 March, QBI hosted a unique conference, Cortical Connections, which resulted in the formation of an international consortium looking to understand the function and development of the corpus callosum and disorders of cerebral connectivity.

Organised by Professor Linda Richards, the conference brought together international leaders in the field of brain wiring, with a focus on the function and development of the corpus callosum, as well as the developmental disorders of brain wiring.

“We attracted leaders working across the fields of brain development, the genetics of cortical malformations, brain imaging of brain wiring disorders, and researchers investigating the neuropsychological outcomes of people with corpus callosum and brain wiring disorders,” Professor Richards said.

“By bringing these people together we also had the opportunity to form a terrific new international consortium called the International Research Consortium for the Corpus Callosum and Cerebral Connectivity (IRC5),” she said.

International consortium members come from the USA, France and Brazil, and domestically from UQ, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

The group will share data for people with corpus callosum malformations, which have an incidence of around one in 3,000 people.

“By pooling our resources and collecting data uniformly, we will have access to information about larger groups of patients with these disorders. This will drive research forward at a much faster pace and allow new discoveries to be quickly translated to the clinical setting,” she said.

The Cortical Connections conference also hosted a workshop on autism spectrum disorders, and following the scientific conference, community organisation Australian Disorders of the Corpus Callosum (ausDoCC) held an event to bring its domestic members together and hear about the latest research.

“They are a relatively new organisation but they are making a big difference to the lives of people with disorders of the corpus callosum. They are our research partners and we are privileged to work with such a dynamic and committed group,” Professor Richards said.

“I’ve also been learning a lot from the members of ausDoCC about their everyday experiences and how corpus callosum malformations affect their lives.”