The Queensland Brain Institute’s seven-storey research facility is purpose-built for neuroscience, including many innovative solutions to enhance scientific discovery and interaction. Designed by John Wardle and Associates and Wilson Architects, and built by Watpac, the $63 million project was completed on schedule and to budget, and was officially opened in November 2007.

The building was designed to accommodate 250 researchers and state-of-the-art research equipment. The QBI building was modelled on the theme of A Theatre for Research, with informal interaction spaces opening to the imposing four-storey foyer on one side and to the research laboratories on the other. Overlaid on the large foyer window into the laboratories is artwork entitled Out of Mind by Adelaide-based artist Fiona Hall. This work, which was especially commissioned by UQ, comprises a large digital print image that interprets QBI research activities. Communal hubs and informal meeting spaces are the settings for discussion and exchanging of ideas. QBI staff and visitors come together on Level 7, which includes a 200-seat auditorium, 40-seat seminar room and interaction areas that can accommodate 300 people.

Research spaces have been designed for maximum flexibility; they can be configured to support molecular biology, tissue culture, electrophysiology and even robotics. Each of the four research floors has a core facility positioned with direct access to the main research labs and external access for affiliate researchers. These core facilities are flow cytometry (Level 6), advanced microscopy (Level 5), histochemistry (Level 4) and cognitive testing (Level 3). Another feature of the building is a dedicated specific pathogen-free animal facility on Level 2, which includes surgery and behavioural testing suites.

QBI’s key technological infrastructure includes the following:

Facilities section

ACRF Brain Tumour Research Centre
The ACRF Brain Tumour Research Centre, located within the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), was officially opened by the Hon. Stephen Robertson, MP, Queensland Minister for Health in March 2008.
Advanced Microscopy Facility
The QBI Advanced Microimaging and Analysis Facility is built around 24 high-end instruments. These include specialised microscope systems capable of super-resolution imaging, automated imaging, optical sectioning, tiled imaging of large areas and neu...
All Weather Bee Flight Facility
As honeybees are instrumental in research into the human brain, the Institute has built the worlds largest indoor climate-controlled insect flight facility.
Flow Cytometry
Flow Cytometry Facility, incorporating the Australian Cancer Research Foundation Brain Tumour Research Centre.
Histology
The Histochemistry Laboratory provides expert advice and support to QBI staff and affiliates in elucidating the anatomy, morphology and function of the brain and nervous system in normal and various disease states.
Information Technology Services
QBI's Information Technology group has a proud tradition of designing, engineering and implementing cutting edge storage, high performance computing and infrastructure innovations.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive technique which is used to study the structure and function of living organisms in vivo.
Peter Goodenough and Wantoks Research Laboratory
The Peter Goodenough and Wantoks Research Laboratory is dedicated to the memory and generosity of Mr Peter Goodenough (1936–2004).
QBI Centre for Brain Genomics
Second-generation DNA sequencing is transforming the life sciences. This technology, remarkably, offers several orders of magnitude increase in data output and a dramatic reduction in cost compared with conventional sequencing.
Vivarium and Animal Behaviour Facility
The QBI vivarium is overseen by the UQ’s Biological Resources Unit (www.uq.edu.au/uqbr), which manages all UQ’s Laboratory animal facilities.