In this edition of Neuroscience News we highlight the tremendous recent success of the Institute.

Consistent with previous years, we were extremely successful in the recent round of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants, with 17 projects being funded, a success rate of 44.7% – far higher than the 16.7% national average. These highly competitive grants are awarded following a rigorous process in assessing almost 4,000 applications nationally, involving 170 Assigners Academy members, more than 7,800 written peer reviews, and more than 600 grant review panel members.

QBI also achieved a 44.4% success rate in the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project grant round, which was again significantly higher than the 19.9% national average.

Congratulations also to Dr Jian Yang, who has been awarded more than $1 million to unlock the genetic underpinning of thousands of diseases including schizophrenia, obesity and cancer. As one of two recipients of the highly prestigious Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation’s Senior Medical Research

Fellowship, Dr Yang will receive $245,000 per annum for 5 years. This is a wonderful achievement and recipients of this prestigious Fellowship have historically become leaders in their field of science. In fact, QBI’s Deputy Director (Research), Professor Pankaj Sah, was the first recipient of this Fellowship when it was launched in 1995.

I am also pleased to announce that QBI has joined with the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research to form the Queensland Mental Health Research Alliance. This alliance was formed with the goal of advancing the understanding of mental disorders and improving outcomes for patients. Mental illness is a leading cause of health related disability in Queensland, as well as a global health challenge. Together we will work towards discovering the neurobiological links in mental health disorders, which can help develop prevention methods and effective treatments.

Lastly, I wish to thank the Government for their ongoing support of the Institute. Grants awarded by the NHMRC and ARC, along with our recent State and Federal funding towards the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research, provide us with the financial support to work towards understanding the overwhelming tide of neurological diseases, which accounts for a staggering 40% of the disease burden in Australia.

Professor Perry Bartlett FAA
Director, Queensland Brain Institute