QBI links with prestigious centre of neuroscience excellence in Japan

6 Sep 2007

The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) continues to expand its scientific influence within the Asia–Pacific region with the signing of a new research agreement with the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (RIKEN BSI) in Japan.

QBI Director Professor Perry Bartlett said he was delighted to formalise a new scientific collaboration with the world-renowned RIKEN Brain Science Institute.

“RIKEN BSI is one of the largest neuroscience research centres in the Asia–Pacific region, so this agreement is a wonderful opportunity to share and increase our understanding of brain function,” Professor Bartlett said.

“It will lead to significant international exchanges in neuroscience, as well as travelling fellowships for early to mid-career researchers.”

Located at Saitama, about two hours north-west of Tokyo, RIKEN BSI is part of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) and employs more than 400 researchers and staff working in more than 40 laboratories.

Established in October 1997, RIKEN BSI’s main aim is to encourage creative research in the brain sciences.

QBI works to discover the cellular and molecular mechanisms which underlie the ability of the adult brain to generate new nerve cells and form new functional connections.

Significant advances in determining the molecular regulation of nerve cell function and development will have a major impact on our understanding of more complex areas such as behaviour, cognition, ageing, neurological disease and mental illness.

A major goal of QBI is to promote excellence in neuroscience through fostering the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships that already exist within the scientific community.

Discoveries in neuroscience will provide, for the first time, a real opportunity to develop new therapeutics to treat mental and neurological diseases, which account for a staggering 45 per cent of the burden of disease in Australia.

QBI conducts research in several major fields of neuroscience, including neural cell degeneration, neural cell migration, neural cell plasticity, neural stem cells, computational neuroscience, cortical development, synaptic plasticity, cognitive and behavioural neuroscience, visual neuroscience, ageing and brain disorders.

In November 2007, QBI will move into a purpose-built $63m research facility, built with funding assistance from the Queensland Government, The Atlantic Philanthropies and The University of Queensland.


For more information, please contact:
QBI Communications Office
Tel: +61 7 3346 6434

Notes to the Editor

The Queensland Brain Institute was formed in 2003 as part of the Queensland Government’s Smart State Initiative, building on  along history of neuroscience at The University of Queensland. QBI is dedicated to understanding the molecular basis of brain function and applying this knowledge to the development of new therapeutics to treat brain and mental health disorders.

The Australian Brain Bee Challenge (ABBC) is the country’s largest neuroscience competition for high school students. The competition is designed to test school students’ knowledge about a range of topics, including intelligence, memory, emotions, sleep, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.  In 2010, more than 10,000 students are expected to take part nationally.