New Academy welcomes researcher

QBI researcher Professor John McGrath, an expert in epidemiology focussing his research on risk factors for schizophrenia, has been elected as a fellow of the newly formed Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

“It’s a great honour and very humbling to have been included in this new Academy,” Professor McGrath said.

“The Academy will provide independent advice to government, industry and the community on issues relating to evidence-based medical practice and research in Australia.

“I hope to raise the profile of mental health and neuroscience within the new Academy. I am also very keen to build more links between mental health researchers and QBI.”

Professor McGrath is part of the Queensland Mental Health Research Alliance, which was formed between QBI, QIMR Berghofer and the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, of which he is Director.

Researcher unveiled in Canberra gallery

A portrait of prominent QBI scientist Professor Mandyam “Srini” Srinivasan by Archibald Prize winner Sam Leach has been unveiled in Australia’s National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

Professor Srinivasan studies how animals such as birds and insects navigate through environments, and applies that knowledge to robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles.

“Sam Leach is not only an exceptional portrait artist, but also has a great affinity for animals and is very good at depicting them as well,” Professor Srinivasan said.

Mr Leach won both the Archibald and Wynne Prizes in 2010, making him only the third artist to win both prizes in the same year.

“When I was approached to undertake this commission I was thrilled to learn about Srini’s research and achievements that have enriched our understanding of the non-human world and are helping to build our understanding of the technological world,” Mr Leach said.

QBI Fellow elected

Professor Linda Richards was among 21 new Fellows welcomed into the Australian Academy of Science in May.

The prestigious fellowships recognise leading and innovative research, with Fellows elected by existing members of the Academy.

“I’m very honoured to be elected to the Academy,” Professor Richards said.

“It’s a very wonderful opportunity to interact with such eminent scientists and it’s a mark of recognition of our research and our contribution to Australian science.”

Professor Richards is a leading developmental neurobiologist discovering the fundamental mechanisms regulating how the brain correctly wires the neuronal connections between its hemispheres.

“I’m very optimistic that in the coming decades advances in neuroimaging and genetics will provide the basis for not only diagnosing neurological diseases and illness, but also finding cures and treatments for those diseases,” she said.