QBI researcher in the running for prestigious award

27 Oct 2023

A leading QBI researcher has been recognised for their health and medical innovation by being named a finalist in the 2023 Research Australia Awards.

QBI’s Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (CJCADR) director, Professor Jürgen Götz, has been nominated for his work on a Queensland-made ultrasound device aiming to treat Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.

The UltraThera device, pioneered by Professor Götz, has the potential to improve millions of lives worldwide by stimulating the brain to improve memory function.

“The UltraThera device has demonstrated early promise through clinical safety trials and once complete, the next steps are to expand the clinical trials and scale up local manufacture of the device in Queensland,” Professor Götz said.

“There is currently no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s, so it’s hugely rewarding that we could in the future potentially treat the disease with ultrasound.”

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting 1 in 10 Australians over 65 years of age.

There are an estimated 401,300 people living with dementia in Australia.

Professor Götz said the portable technology promises a low-cost, non-invasive treatment to treat the major global challenge of dementia and other neurological diseases.

“The innovative scanning ultrasound approach may directly treat the disease and also has the potential to improve the delivery of existing Alzheimer’s drugs, massively reducing healthcare costs and delaying the progression of the disease of patients worldwide,” he said.

“Our end goal is to be able to safely pass drugs through the blood-brain barrier, opening the door for new treatments for many conditions affecting the brain, including mental health and brain injury.”

The awards, now in their 20th year, celebrate excellence across the Australian health and medical research landscape.

Winners will be announced Thursday 2 November.