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16 November 2007

Melissa de Vries, a research officer from Deakin University in Victoria, has been awarded the inaugural Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) Jack Pettigrew PhD Scholarship in Neuroscience.

Melissa de Vries, a research officer from Deakin University in Victoria, has been awarded the inaugural Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) Jack Pettigrew PhD Scholarship in Neuroscience.

The $25,000 scholarship (indexed annually for up to 3.5 years) will enable Ms de Vries to continue neuroscience research at QBI.

QBI Director Professor Perry Bartlett congratulated all the applicants at an award ceremony held at QBI on Monday, 26 November.

"It is a very exciting time in which to explore the fundamental mechanisms which underpin brain function," Professor Bartlett said.

“As a recipient of the Jack Pettigrew Scholarship, you carry the name of one of Australia’s greatest neuroscientists who contributed greatly to our understanding of how vision works.”

"Discoveries by the next generation of researchers will provide, for the first time, a real opportunity to develop therapeutics to treat mental and neurological diseases in the community."

Ms de Vries is currently completing her honours at the University of Western Australia’s Department of Physiology, and expects to begin her scholarship at QBI early in 2008.

Professor John (Jack) D. Pettigrew, after whom the scholarship is named, is Professor of Physiology and Director of the Vision, Touch and Hearing Research Centre at The University of Queensland.

After graduating in medicine (First Class Hons) in 1966, Professor Pettigrew went on to forge a distinguished international career in vision, touch and hearing research.

From his early work in cat vision at U.C. Berkeley in 1971–73 to ground-breaking research in owl hearing at the California Institute of Technology in the late 1970s, Professor Pettigrew has been prominent among the world’s leading researchers and educators in his field.

Along with a lifetime of scientific achievement, Professor Pettigrew is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, a Fellow of the Royal Society and an Honorary Life Member of the Neurophthalmology Society of Australia.

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For more information, please contact:
QBI Communications Office
Tel: +61 7 3346 6434

Notes to the Editor
QUEENSLAND BRAIN INSTITUTE
The Queensland Brain Institute was formed in 2003 as part of the Queensland Government’s Smart State Initiative, building on a long history of neuroscience at The University of Queensland. QBI is dedicated to understanding the molecular basis of brain function and applying this knowledge to the development of new therapeutics to treat brain and mental health disorders.