After a very successful 2014, I’m delighted to commence the new year by sharing with you further news of QBI’s discoveries and philanthropic support.

An extremely generous donation of $2.5 million from the Stafford Fox Medical Research Foundation was announced at QBI by Queensland Science Minister, Ian Walker MP and Foundation Trustee, Paul Brotchie, to support research into vascular dementia over the next five years. Caused primarily by strokes, vascular dementia accounts for up to 40 per cent of dementias, and consequently is a vital area of research as we seek to address the dementia epidemic.

Work led by Dr Brent Neumann, in the laboratory of Associate Professor Massimo Hilliard, into nerve regeneration has delivered a breakthrough in the understanding of how we might promote the repair of damaged nerves. The study was published in the highly prestigious journal Nature in early January, and featured an image from Associate Professor Hilliard's laboratory on the cover.

Over Christmas, Associate Professor Elizabeth Coulson’s work into using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to predict the risk of onset of Alzheimer’s disease was published in NeuroImage: Clinical. The study found that people with a shrinking basal forebrain were seven times more likely than the normal population to show cognitive decline in the following 18 months.

I am delighted also to announce that Elizabeth Coulson has been recently appointed as Professor, a joint position between the School of Biomedical Sciences (SBMS) and QBI. The close collaboration between QBI and SBMS will be strengthened further by the appointment of Dr Jana Vukovic to a joint lecturer/Faculty position. Dr Vukovic was also successful recently in obtaining a prestigious ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. I wish to thank Professor Walter Thomas, head of SBMS, for his shared vision of developing neuroscience leadership at UQ.

Professor Perry Bartlett FAA
Director, Queensland Brain Institute