QBI researchers pound the pavement to help unlock the key to brain disease

25 Aug 2015

Researchers from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at St Lucia will be running alongside many people touched by brain disease when they join Team QBI in this year’s Sunday Mail Suncorp Bank Bridge to Brisbane charity run on Sunday, 30 August.

QBI Director Professor Pankaj Sah said the research team members’ main motivation for participating in the event was because they are inspired by the work of the Institute and want to help make a difference.

“It’s a humbling experience to see patients who are suffering from life-threatening brain related illnesses and witness their enormous courage and positivity,” he said.

QBI is making major scientific discoveries in the areas of dementia, motor neuron disease (MND) and anxiety and depression on a daily basis which will be used as a foundation to revolutionise the treatment of these conditions in the future.

Alice Petty, a PhD student at QBI, is running to raise funds as she sees firsthand the critical work that is taking place at the UQ campus.

“My field is schizophrenia and I’m working to develop a new animal model which might help us understand how schizophrenia progresses, and how we might delay it in its early stages,” she said

The ‘Bridge to Brisbane’ is Alice’s very first 10km run and she sees it as an opportunity to do what she can to help fund research at QBI.

Schizophrenia is a highly heritable group of psychiatric mental disorders that affects about one in every 100 people. Teenagers with schizophrenia have a heightened risk of attempted suicide and the illness costs Australian society an estimated $5 billion annually.

“The Queensland Brain Institute scientists are making significant advances in the area of schizophrenia identifying susceptibility genes and investigating what role each had in contributing to disease using genetic technologies,” Professor Sah said.

Fifteen QBI researchers will take part and not only show support with their feet, but also hope to raise funds for QBI to advance research in discovering fundamental mechanisms regulating brain function in health and disease.

To support QBI in the “Bridge to Brisbane” visit Everyday Hero: https://b2b2015.everydayhero.com/au/qbi-team-1/members.

Media: QBI Communications, communications@qbi.uq.edu.au.