On November 19, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of the opening of the new QBI building. It is a good time to reflect on the growth and success of the Institute over these past five years.
We have significantly increased the number of scientific staff and students, from 10 students, 18 Principal Investigators (PIs) and a total of 89 staff in 2007, to 92 students, 33 PIs and 350 staff in 2012. During this time our success in competitive grant funding has continued to improve, with Australian Research Council (ARC) support increasing from $2.02 million in 2007 to $5.68 million in 2012, and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) support increasing from $2.4 million to $6.63 million over the same period. This growth and grant success has been driven by research excellence and productivity; the latter has seen not only an increase in publication numbers – from 62 in 2007 to 174 in 2012, but also an increasing number of publications in the world’s foremost journals, with 3 in Nature, 1 in Science, 2 in Neuron, 1 in Nature Neuroscience and 6 in The Journal of Neuroscience in 2012. The Institute has established two new centres: the Centre for Ageing Dementia Research and the Science of Learning Centre, the only centres of their kind in Australia. I am also immensely proud of the establishment of two joint laboratories with our research colleagues in China: the Joint Laboratory of Neuroscience and Cognition with the Chinese Academy of Science’s Institute of Biophysics in Beijing, and the Joint Sino-Australian Neurogenetics Laboratory with the Changzheng Hospital at the Second Military Medical University in Shanghai. Overall, it has been an immensely successful five years, highlighted by Neurosciences at The University of Queensland again receiving the highest score of 5, ‘well above world standards’ in the recent Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rankings.
Professor Perry Bartlett FAA
Director, Queensland Brain Institute