Engage

You can help progress our research

You don't have to be a scientist to get involved with QBI. We offer a range of opportunities for everyday people to connect and progress our research and discoveries.

The foundation for all of our work is the funding we receive through a range of sources, including philanthropic donations from our generous supporters. There are many ways to give to QBI: directly, through planned giving, or holding fundraising events that entertain or challenge supporters as they dig deep to help us better understand the brain. 

We also offer opportunities for students to learn directly from our inspiring researchers through lab placements, and for community members to tour our facilities and attend events. Finally, you can give one of the greatest gifts of all by volunteering for studies to advance treatments and diagnostics for brain diseases and disorders.

What your donations fund

Through your support you are helping QBI solve the major neurological health challenges facing our community today

World leading research

Brightest scientific minds

Solutions to global health challenges

Discovery Research Endowment Fund
 

Find out more        Donate to research

QBI’s Discovery Research Endowment Fund supports scientists exploring the unknown, which will guide new research on finding cures for diseases or improving quality of life.

Community & school programs

 

Australian Brain Bee

The Australian Brain Bee Challenge (ABBC) is a competition for high school students in year 10 to learn about the brain and its functions, learn about neuroscience research, find out about careers in neuroscience and to dispel misconceptions about neurological and mental illnesses. 
 

Learn more


Volunteer for a research study

QBI offers the public the opportunity to become involved in our research
through volunteering in a range of our human studies.

Your help may be vital to solving some of humanity's greatest ailments
and answering some of the biggest questions we face.
 

Find out more

Research in action

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    Queensland Brain Institute
  • Götz: Ageing Dementia Research

    Group leader

    Professor Juergen Goetz

    Director of CJCADR - GL
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
    Supervisor: 
    Researcher biography: 

    Professor Jürgen Götz (PhD, Dr. habil, FAHMS, GAICD) is Foundation Chair of Dementia Research, Director of the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research at the Queensland Brain Institute (University of Queensland), NHMRC Leadership Fellow and Ultrasound Team Leader. He performed undergraduate studies at the Biocenter of the University of Basel, before joining the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Georges Köhler to obtain his PhD degree in immunology. Subsequently, he took up postdoctoral positions at UCSF (San Francisco) and Sandoz Ltd (now Novartis, Basel), and worked as Research Group Leader (venia legendi, Dr. habil.) at the University of Zurich (Switzerland). Before taking up his current position, Götz was a Professor and Chair of Molecular Biology at the University of Sydney. Götz is an expert in basic research in Alzheimer's disease (AD), focusing on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of how tau and Aβ cause neurodegeneration, using transgenic and cellular models (>210 publications, including in leading journals such as Science, Cell and Neuron (h-index 83, 25,000+ citations, Google Scholar). More recently, Götz developed a non-pharmacological ultrasound-based treatment strategy that removes toxic Aβ and tau in mice and restores memory functions, presenting ultrasound as a novel treatment modality for diseases of the brain. As part of these activites, a clinical-trial ready device has been built and human ethics approval obtained to conduct a first-in-human safety trial in 12 Alzheimer patients. (April 2022)


    Team leader - Exosomes, tau spreading and aggregation team

    Dr Juan Polanco

    Research Fellow
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
    Supervisor: 
    Researcher biography: 

    Dr Juan Carlos Polanco leads a Research team on "Exosomes, tau spreading and aggregation" in Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (CJCADR) within the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at the University of Queensland (UQ). Dr Polanco was awarded a MSc degree in Biochemistry from the National University of Colombia, and a PhD in Molecular Bioscience from the UQ. His PhD work was supervised by now Emeritus Prof. Peter Koopman, a leading developmental biologist. He stayed in the Koopman lab until 2010 where he made major contributions on how SOX genes are implicated in the XX disorders of sex development. In 2010, he started a postdoctoral fellowship in CSIRO, working on elucidating the complex biology of reprogrammed human induced pluripotent stem cells. In 2013, he joined the laboratory of Prof. Jürgen Götz in CJCADR. Here, Dr Polanco started working on exosomes, and in his ground-breaking and highly cited 2016 paper in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, he demonstrated for the first time that exosomes encapsulate tau seeds with the ability to induce tau aggregation in recipient cells. Furthermore, he also demonstrated that neurons can internalise proximal exosomal tau seeds and then re-release a fraction fused with endogenous secretory endosomes, re-released exosomes that were delivered to interconnected neurons, potentially achieving higher pathogenicity boosted by this trans-synaptic mode of transport (Acta Neuropathol Commun 2018). Since 2019, and initially supported by an NHMRC grant, Dr Polanco has been mentored by Prof Götz to lead an independent research team hosted in his lab.


    Team leader - Microglia in health and disease team

    Dr Liviu Bodea

    Research Fellow
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
    Supervisor: 
    Researcher biography: 

    Dr. Liviu-Gabriel Bodea leads the Microglia in Health and Disease Research Team at the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research, within the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), the University of Queensland (UQ).

    Dr. Bodea is a brain cell biologist with a focus on the functional crosstalk between microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain parenchyma, and the surrounding cell types, both in health and disease. Dr. Bodea has significant experience in generating and analysing both in vivo and in vitro models (from stable cell lines and primary cultures, to novel genetically modified mice) in combination with various biochemical and molecular techniques, ranging from high-end confocal imaging to functional pathway analysis and CRISPR gene editing.

    Dr. Liviu-Gabriel Bodea is a Dementia Australia Research Foundation Mid-Career Fellow (2022-2024), and was the recipient of a University of Queensland Research Stimulus Fellowship (2022) and the Peter Hilton Early Career Fellowship in Ageing Dementia Research (2014-2019), under the mentorship of Prof. Jürgen Götz, a world-renowned leader in Alzheimer's disease. Liviu Bodea was awarded his Dr.rer.nat. (PhD) title from the University of Bonn, Germany (2014), working in the group of Prof. Harald Neumann, a world-renowned expert in microglial physiology which identified for the first time the role of the microglial receptor TREM2 in the removal of apoptotic material (JEM 2005).

    Dr. Bodea has extensive experience in guiding both under- and post-graduate students into the wonders of scientific research :)

    Complete List of Published Work: PubMed Bibliography

    Research Impact

    Dr. Liviu-Gabriel Bodea is a Dementia Australia Research Foundation Mid-Career Fellow (2022-2024). In 2021, Expertscape recognised Dr. Bodea as one of the top-rated researchers in the field of tauopathy, placing him in the top 0.8% of >142k published authors worldwide on tauopathies within the last 10 years. Dr. Bodea has authored 10 co-/first/ /last/corresponding and 11 contributing author publications (with a total of >2,350 cites, h-index 13 @Google Scholar(Jun2022); FWCI 4.05 @SciVal (Jun2022)), including three Highly Cited Publications as indexed by Web of Science (Cell 2013; Nature Reviews Neurology 2018; Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2018).

    Dr. Bodea's work led to the identification of the microglial TYROBP adaptor protein as one of the top causal factors of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (Cell 2013, co-first author, >1300 cites) and revealed the complement-induced neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons following peripheral immune stimulation (Journal of Neuroscience 2014, first author). More recently, he coordinated studies that centred on the effect of tau (molecule relevant for Alzheimer's disease) on proteins synthesis (EMBO J 2019; Acta Neuropathologica Communications 2021), the use of artificial amino acids and de novo proteome analysis for the investigation of memory (eLife 2020), and the role of neuronal PTEN enzyme in synaptic engulfment by microglia (Acta Neuropathologica 2020). He published reviews in Nature Reviews Neurology (2018), Nature Reviews Neuroscience (2018), Journal of Neurochemistry (2017), and Brain Research Bulletin (2021).

    Dr. Bodea acted as a grant reviewer for MS Research Australia (2019) and Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation (2016) and was the Lead Guest Editor for a Special Research Topic in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience (topic: The Neuron-Glia Crosstalk and Beyond, 2022). He is a member of the Reviewer Board for Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. He reviews 6-8 manuscripts per year for different other publications.

    Dr. Bodea has mentored and supervised the daily activity of PhD students (2 completed, 1 current), Honours students (3 completed, 1 current) and RAs, as well as many other undergraduate and volunteer students. Both completed PhD students received awards (e.g., the Alistair Rushworth Fellowship, Merk-QBI Best Student Publication Award) and finished with an average of 5 publications. All the completed Honours students were awarded First Class distinctions.


    Team leader - Molecular imaging and modelling team

    Dr Pranesh Padmanabhan

    Research Fellow
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
    Supervisor: 

    Pathomechanism and antibody team

    Dr Liyu Chen

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
    Supervisor: 

    Dr Esteban Cruz Gonzalez

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
    Supervisor: 

    Ms Tishila Palliyaguru

    Lab Manager
    Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research
    Researcher profile is public: 
    0
    Supervisor: 

    Mrs Keisha Jade Roffey

    Research Assistant
    Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research
    Researcher profile is public: 
    0
    Supervisor: 

    Miss Alison Carlisle

    PhD Student & Casual Histology Assistant
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    0
    Supervisor: 

    Mr Adam Briner

    PhD student
    Queensland Brain Insitute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    0
    Supervisor: 

    Miss Deonne Taylor

    PhD student
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Casual Research Assistant
    Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research
    Researcher profile is public: 
    0
    Supervisor: 

    Mr Blaise Asnicar

    PhD Student
    Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
    Supervisor: 

    Mr Jonathan Lee

    PhD Student
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
    Supervisor: 

    Mr Avinash Fernandes

    Research Assistant
    Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research
    Researcher profile is public: 
    0
    Supervisor: 

    Bradley Connor

    Honours student
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
    Supervisor: 

    Swara Tapaswi

    Honours student
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
    Supervisor: 

    Riku Sato

    Honours student
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
    Supervisor: 

    Ultrasound team

    Dr Rachel De Las Heras

    Ultrasound Prod Dev Manager
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    0
    Supervisor: 

    Dr Gerhard Leinenga

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
    Supervisor: 

    Dr Jae Song

    Senior Research Officer
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
    Supervisor: 

    Mr Matthew Pelekanos

    Research Assistant
    Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research
    Researcher profile is public: 
    0
    Supervisor: 

    Miss Wendy Lee

    Senior Research Assistant
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    0
    Supervisor: 

    Miss Gina Richter-Stretton

    Research Assistant
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    0
    Supervisor: 

    Mr Antony Chicoteau

    Research Assistant
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    0
    Supervisor: 

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