New Professorial Research Fellow appointed at QBI

17 Mar 2011

The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) is pleased to announce that Professor Tianzi Jiang has joined the University of Queensland (UQ) in an appointment shared between QBI and the Centre for Advanced Imaging (CAI).

Professor Jiang commenced his appointment as Professorial Research Fellow and Professor of Neuroimaging this month.

Though he will continue to be based in Beijing, where he is currently Professor of Brain Imaging and Cognitive Disorders and Chinese Director of the Sino-French Laboratory for Computer Science, Automation and Applied Mathematics (LIAMA), Professor Jiang is expected to spend 50 per cent of his time in Brisbane.

He is therefore expecting to rack up the frequent flyer miles – and to enjoy his host city’s mild winters “though the weather in Beijing is not so bad”, he says.

According to QBI Director Perry Bartlett, Professor Jiang’s expertise in neural imaging will complement the Institute’s existing research programs, and offer innovative new ways to help identify the case of neurological disease.

“While we welcome Tianzi on a personal level, and are delighted that he has accepted our invitation to join QBI and CAI, this appointment also represents a further cementing of the collaborative relationships which currently exist between researchers in Beijing and Brisbane,” Professor Bartlett says.

QBI ranks among the top two or three neuroscience institutes in the Asia Pacific, with exceptional laboratory, technological and research capability into brain disease.

It is increasingly attracting international students of the highest calibre from China and other countries, at undergraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral levels.

Professor Jiang will be making two postdoctoral appointments, and bringing two RHD students to QBI from Beijing in coming months.

Together, China and Australia are expected to confront similar disturbing levels of neurological and mental disease in the coming decades.

“Our joint work is allowing us to answer key research questions – such as the development of the brain, how the neural circuitry functions and how dysfunction leads to mental disorders,” Professor Bartlett adds.

In the first week of his appointment, in a presentation to a large group of QBI staff and students, Professor Jiang unveiled his research findings into the neural correlates of intelligence, using evidence obtained with both functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).

He is also using imaging to search for biomarkers involved in disorders such as schizophrenia and depression.

Since 2000, Professor Jiang has published more than 120 papers in respected journals including PLoS Computational Biology, NeuroImage and the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.