During Mental Health Week 2021, join Queensland Brain Institute researchers Dr Susannah Tye, Professor Bruno van Swinderen, Dr Alena Pribyl Rinke and psychiatrist Associate Professor Shuichi Suetani for a live webinar where they will discuss the role that diet and your gut microbiome, sleep, exercise and your circadian rhythms all play in brain function and the impact they have on mental health.  

Date: 12th October
Time: 5 - 6.00pm
Location: Live webinar
Enquiries: please send any enquiries to qbievents@uq.edu.au.

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Dr James Kesby – UQ Amplify Researcher, Queensland Brain Institute.

 Dr James Kesby works closely with clinical researchers focussed on the daunting task of understanding, identifying and treating early psychosis. He will lead the panel discussion about how our everyday lifestyle choices affect brain health and its ability to cope with stress. 






Dr Susannah Tye – Senior Research Fellow, Queensland Brain Institute 

Dr Susannah Tye leads the Functional Neuromodulation and Novel Therapeutics Laboratory at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at the University of Queensland and is looking at how stress affects brain health and mental health, and how disruption of cortisol, a stress hormone, over the circadian rhythm can affect recovery from depression. Having demonstrated that stress hormone circadian rhythms affect the function of immune and metabolic systems to increase vulnerability for stress-sensitive disorders such as treatment resistant depression, Dr Tye’s team are investigating alternative therapeutic options and blood biomarkers to identify and target these mechanisms to inform new and personalised treatment options for depression.  


Professor Bruno van Swinderen – Professorial Research Fellow, Queensland Brain Institute

Professor Bruno van Swinderen's group use Drosophila as a genetic model system to study mechanisms of perception in the brain and are interested in three phenomena: selective attention, sleep, and general anesthesia. Their focus is on visual perception and how it is affected by these different arousal states. Most of our current effort is in understanding visual selective attention in the fly brain and how attention processes interact with memory formation. Toward this goal, they use various novel visual paradigms in a Drosophila molecular genetics context. 


Associate Professor Shuichi Suetani – Psychiatrist

Associate Professor Shuichi Suetani is a community psychiatrist whose research has focussed on the relationships between physical activity and mental disorders. He currently works for the Institute for Indigenous Urban Health. Alongside his psychiatry training, Shuichi completed a PhD exploring the epidemiological relationships between physical activity and mental disorders. His PhD found that having a mental illness per se should not be a barrier to physical activity engagement. Shuichi has numerous publications in high impact journals including Lancet Psychiatry and JAMA Psychiatry. Shuichi also sits on the editorial board for Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology and is deputy editor for Australasian Psychiatry. 

Dr Alena Pribyl Rinke

Dr Alena Pribyl is a senior scientist at Microba Life Sciences, a microbial genomics company based in Brisbane, Australia that specialises in analysing the gut microbiome. Alena has a PhD in fish physiology where she investigated physiological and molecular biomarkers of stress in marine fish. During her postdoctoral fellowships, including one through the California Council on Science and Technology at the California Legislature in science policy, she developed a passion for science communication and translation. After moving to Australia in 2015, she began working at the Australian Centre for Ecogenomics (ACE) at the University of Queensland and became involved in research on the human gut microbiome. This work led to her becoming a founding team member of Microba. Alena has been translating the latest research on the human gut microbiome for over five years now. 

About Mental Health Week Live Webinar

Every year the Queensland Brain Institute hosts a mental health webinar, during Mental health Week. Join us to hear from experts who discuss important topics related to mental health research.