Discovering the fundamental mechanisms of brain function

The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), established in 2003, is a leading institute focussed on two of the greatest challenges of modern science: understanding brain function and the prevention and treatments of disorders of brain function. 

Since its formation, the Institute has achieved remarkable success, and is currently led by Professor Pankaj Sah. We have published more than 1200 papers and the quality of work produced by QBI researchers is demonstrated by the Institute’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australia Research Council (ARC) grant success, attracting over $110 million in competitive grant funding to date. These grants are awarded following a rigorous, competitive and open peer review, and QBI continually achieves a success rate far above the national average.

It is QBI's excellence in the field that has played a key role in The University of Queensland (UQ) attaining the highest possible score of five for neuroscience, "well above world standard", in both the 2010, 2012 and 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) reviews, one of only two universities in Australia to achieve this.

The QBI aims to discover the fundamental mechanisms regulating brain function in health and disease, in particular understanding the brain circuitry underlying function. To achieve this QBI investigates key areas using a number of animal models, fruit fly, honey bee, worms and mice through to humans:

In collaborations with clinicians and commercial partners, new discoveries are used as the basis to develop new therapeutic approaches to ameliorate the effects of brain diseases such as dementia, schizophrenia, motor neuron disease (MND), and anxiety and depression.

To focus on important areas, QBI has established several Institute Centres:

• The Science of Learning Research Centre (SLRC) was established in 2010, with the objectives being to identify research and understand effective teaching and learning practices in the light of current knowledge about basic learning processes and factors that influence successful human learning.

• The Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (CJCADR) was established in 2012 and is focused entirely on research into the prevention and treatment of dementia.

• The Asia-Pacific Centre for Neuromodulation (APCN) is a world leader in using deep brain stimulation to revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases.