In what is my final Director’s Message, I would like to open by welcoming Professor Pankaj Sah to the role of Director of the Queensland Brain Institute, commencing 1 July 2015, and by saying how delighted I am with the appointment.  Pankaj’s appointment follows an extensive national and international talent search and it is a measure of the international leadership among QBI’s scientists that he came out on top. As many of you know, Pankaj has been of invaluable assistance to me in his role as QBI’s Deputy Director (Research) for the past eight years, and much of our success is due to his tireless dedication to our research performance.

Professor Sah is currently serving as Director of the Science of Learning Research Centre, an ARC Special Research Initiative. An expert in the physiology of the amygdala, he currently holds a prestigious NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship and is Editor in Chief of the new Nature Partner Journal npj Science of Learning.

QBI was established in 2003 to understand the fundamental mechanisms underlying brain function, with the goal that this would lead to new approaches to treat the tsunami of brain disease. Since the Institute’s inception, we have achieved a greater understanding of brain function and we have also begun to see tangible applications in areas as diverse as unmanned aerial vehicles, education, and therapeutics for dementia, motor neuron disease, schizophrenia and neural trauma. With our cohort of outstanding scientists, I am confident QBI research will deliver discoveries that continue to transform our approaches to disease and learning.

It has been a tremendous privilege to direct and build QBI over this period, which has resulted in our growth from 10 to 450 staff, more than $50 million in philanthropy, and nearly $200 million in grants during this time. None of this could have been done without a tremendous support team, and I have been fortunate to have the best, led by Deputy Director (Operations) John Kelly. 

Finally, this growth and success would not have been possible without the incredible support I have received from the people of Brisbane and Queensland, whose contributions, both financial and non-financial, have been the driving force behind this success. This unparalleled support has been driven by the Chair of our Development Board, Jeff Maclean, the Chair of our Advisory Board, Dr Sallyanne Atkinson AO, and my long time friend and advisor, Dr David Merson. My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your ongoing support.

I am pleased to say that I will be continuing on at QBI as the Professor of Molecular Neuroscience and hope to assist in the next phase of its undoubted success.

Professor Perry Bartlett FAA

Director, Queensland Brain Institute