The Queensland Brain Institute is a world-leading research facility focused on discovering the fundamental mechanisms that regulate brain function. Unlike research institutes that focus on a specific disease or condition, QBI is structured to study the brain’s fundamental molecular and physiological mechanisms.
This unique strategic approach, which is led by QBI’s Director Professor Pankaj Sah (above), is seen as the most productive way to create an environment of discovery that will lead to the development of much-needed therapeutic treatments for neurological disorders and neurotrauma.
Professor Pankaj Sah is renowned for his work in understanding the physiology of excitatory synapses and synaptic plasticity in the amygdala, an area of the brain involved in emotional processing. He was recruited to QBI as a founding member in 2003, and was appointed as its Deputy Director (Research) in 2007. He has been Director of the Queensland Brain Institute since July 2015.
Previously, he was a group leader at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University, and a laboratory head in the Department of Physiology at the University of Newcastle.
His laboratory studies the amygdala using a combination of molecular tools, electrophysiology, anatomical reconstruction and calcium imaging. Recently, his laboratory has examined electrophysiological recordings in patients undergoing electrode implantation for deep brain stimulation, which is used to treat a variety of disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Tourette's syndrome and essential tremor.
Professor Sah has published over 110 papers in international peer-reviewed journals. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Nature Partnership Journal npj Science of Learning, the an international open-access journal that brings together the findings of neuroscientists, psychologists, and education researchers to understand how the brain learns.
The inaugural Director of QBI was Professor Perry Bartlett (2003–2015), who holds the Foundation Chair in Molecular Neuroscience at The University of Queensland.