Ideas Grants help solve brain mysteries

19 December 2022



Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) researchers will dive deeper into the mysteries of the brain after gaining funding from the Australian Government.

Dr Matilde Balbi, Associate Professor Thomas Burne, Dr Nathalie Dehorter, Dr Philip Mosley, Dr Juan Polanco, Professor Pankaj Sah and Associate Professor Jana Vukovic will share in a $241 million boost to research from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Ideas Grants.

Meanwhile, Professor Jürgen Götz is part of a multinational collaborative that has secured funding through the NHMRC’s European Union Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease (JPND) Research 2022.

Government supports brain research

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO said the scheme – which will support more than 200 research projects across the country – provided opportunities for researchers at all career stages.

“Ideas Grants support research that contributes to the improvement of human health – whether researchers work at the laboratory bench, in a clinic or in the community,” she said.

“This announcement is the culmination of intense effort, first by researchers to develop the outstanding proposals received this year and then by expert reviewers to evaluate them,.

“The outcomes we are announcing would not be possible without the 10,509 individual assessments of proposals that were undertaken by reviewers for this scheme. We are immensely grateful for their contribution in helping NHMRC identify the most significant projects in a highly competitive field.”

UQ and Ideas hub for funding

The QBI projects are part of a strong showing from the University of Queensland (UQ) which secured more than $31 million from the scheme.

The successful projects reflect the breadth of research underway at the University to solve issues affecting human health around Australia and the world.

The funding will help to tackle challenges including treating the effects of degenerative diseases, improving the wellbeing of First Nations children, and understanding the causes of frailty – one of the most significant challenges for healthy ageing in Australia.

The QBI projects are:

Dr Matilde Balbi
Assessment and modulation of cortical sensorimotor control for recovery after stroke

Associate Professor Thomas Burne
Reverse translation of a rodent cognitive flexibility task

Dr Nathalie Dehorter
The Neurokinin 3 Receptor is a New Target for the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Professor Jürgen Götz
Facilitating focused ultrasound-mediated Tau clearance in Alzheimer's disease and other Tauopathies by understanding the underlying autophagic mechanisms

Dr Juan Carlos Polanco
Regulators of Tau Pathology Induced by Exosomal and Vesicle-free Tau Seeds

Dr Philip Mosley
Selective Modulation of Brain Circuits In Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Professor Pankaj Sah
Neural circuits that control movement: from mice to humans

Associate Professor Jana Vukovic
Targeting IL-6 trans-signalling in brain injury