At a time where research funding is become increasingly more competitive, I am delighted with the success of our scientists in obtaining fellowships and grants totalling more than $9 million in the recent rounds of NHMRC funding.

I wish to congratulate Professors Naomi Wray, Peter Visscher and Pankaj Sah on being awarded prestigious Senior Principal and Principal Research Fellowships, 3 of only 7 awarded across UQ. In addition, QBI received $5.5 million in NHMRC funding for 11 project grants, which was an excellent achievement and at twice the success rate of that achieved nationwide. Equally important was the outstanding success of our younger scientific stars, Drs Allan McRae and Beben Benyamin who were awarded prestigious Career Development Fellowships (2 of 58 across Australia) and William Harrison and Robert Power in obtaining the equally prestigious Early Career Fellowships.

In addition to the NHMRC fellowship success, Professor Justin Marshall was recently awarded the ARC’s most prestigious fellowship, the Laureate Fellowship, 1 of only 16 awarded across Australia. This was in recognition of his pioneering work in discovering the neuroscientific basis of vision in marine animals, which is impacting on our understanding of human vision and being used to develop innovative devices to record visual information. Some of these discoveries are highlighted in this edition of Neuroscience News

Other achievements of our younger scientists include: PhD student Karly Turner’s selection as a 2014 Chapter Travel Award recipient for the Society for Neuroscience Meeting in Washington; Honours students James Cleland and Jessica McFadyen each received awards for Best Oral Presentations at the UQ Undergraduate Research Con-ference; and Honours student Zala Skrbis was awarded People’s Choice in the UQ Undergraduate Research Conference 3-minute thesis competition.

Finally, I want to highlight the work of Professor Bryan Mowry, which contributed to the world’s largest molecular genetic study into a psychiatric disorder. Mowry and his colleagues’ work, published in Nature, uncovered over 100 locations across the human genome that are strongly associated with schizophrenia.

As always, I am deeply grateful for your ongoing support of the Institute and I look forward to you visiting the Institute to see at first-hand the research discoveries of our scientists.

Professor Perry Bartlett FAA
Director, Queensland Brain Institute