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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. 
 

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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.
 

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Research in action

  • PhD student
    Queensland Brain Insitute
    Research Assistant
    Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research
  • PhD Student
    Queensland Brain Institute
  • CJCADR research leaders

    CJCADR research leaders

     

    Emeritus Professor Perry Bartlett

    Professorial Research Fellow & Emeritus Professor
    Queensland Brain Institute
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    Emeritus Professor Perry Bartlett is the inaugural Director of the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) and holds the Foundation Chair in Molecular Neuroscience at The University of Queensland. Previously he was Head of the Division of Development and Neurobiology at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA), a past NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and ARC Federation Fellow, and a past President of the Australian Neuroscience Society.

    He has published more than 260 papers, many of which have appeared in the most influential journals and have attracted over 21,313 citations. He has an H-Index of 78 and holds 21 Patents.

    His achievements in neuroscience research and neuroscience leadership have been recognised with several recent prestigious awards: The CSL Florey Medal and Prize in 2015, for significant achievements in biomedical science and / or human health advancement, which has been awarded only 7 times since its inception in 1988. The Australian Neuroscience Society Distinguished Achievement Award in 2014 for an outstanding contribution to neuroscience in Australian and New Zealand. Research Australia's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, for promoting medical research. Professor Bartlett's contributions have also been recognized through a Queensland Greats award in 2016 and the 2017 Queensland Senior Australian of the Year.

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    Emeritus Professor Perry Bartlett: Neurogenic regulation of cognition

    Professor Perry Bartlett’s laboratory is focussed on understanding the mechanisms that regulate the production and function of new neurons, generated from the resident population of stem/precursor cells in a region of the adult brain known as the hippocampus.

    Find out more


     

    Associate Professor Victor Anggono

    Principal Research Fellow - GL
    Queensland Brain Institute
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    Victor Anggono received his PhD in 2007 from the University of Sydney and undertook his postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA. In 2012, Dr Anggono returned to Australia as an NHMRC CJ Martin Research Fellow and joined the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland, where he is currently a Senior Research Fellow and Group Leader at the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research. His research aims to understand the molecular mechanisms of synaptic vesicle and glutamate receptor trafficking in neurons, processes that are essential for synaptic transmission, plasticity, learning and memory, and how their dysregulations impact on the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders. Dr Anggono has published in journals such as Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Journal of Neuroscience and Cell Reports, and has attracted more than 1500 citations. For his works, Dr Anggono was awarded the Boomerang Award (Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2011), the Young Scientist Award (Federation of Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists, 2015), the Science to Art Award (NHMRC, 2015) and more recently the Young Investigator Award (Asian-Pacific Society for Neurochemistry, 2016).

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    Dr Victor Anggono: Synaptic neurobiology

    Our research combines biochemical, molecular and cellular biology in both cell culture (primary neurons and cell lines) and mouse models. We utilise gene editing technology, cutting-edge microscopy, proteomics, next-generation sequencing and behavioural analyses in our study. We are particularly interested in understanding the complex neuronal signalling cascades through protein-protein interactions and post-translational modifications of key synaptic molecules.

    Find out more


     

    Professor Elizabeth Coulson

    Group Leader in Dementia Research, Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research & Professor
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Head of School
    School Biomedical Science
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    Professor Elizabeth (Lizzie) Coulson did her undergraduate Honours degree at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Genetics and Biochemistry. Her PhD (1997) in the Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne, with Professor Colin Masters, was on the normal function of the amyloid precursor protein of Alzheimer's disease. Following a year at the ZMBH, University of Heidelberg, Germany, she pursued postdoctoral work studying neuronal cell death in neurodegeneration and development at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institutewith Professor Perry Bartlett before being recruited in 2003 to the University of Queensland as a founding member of the Queensland Brain Institute. She was appointed Professor in 2015, joining the School of Biomedical Sciences and becoming Deputy Head of School in 2019. She maintains a 20% Queensland Brain Institutes appointment and is a member of the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research.

    Her Lab webpage is: Coulson Lab - Neurotrophin - School of Biomedical Sciences ...

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    Professor Elizabeth Coulson: Neurotrophins in Alzheimer’s disease

    The Coulson laboratory is investigating how and why certain neurons die in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and motor neuron disease (MND). Their work focusses on the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) and its role in neuronal loss, particularly the nerve cell degeneration that occurs in cholinergic neurons in the brain and spinal cord.

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    Dr Zhitao Hu

    Senior Research Fellow
    Queensland Brain Institute
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    I have a broad background in electrophysiology, molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, cell biology and cellular neurobiology. My research focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of synaptic transmission and the function of neural circuits. My lab is currently supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project grant, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project grant, NARSAD young investigator grant, and NIH R21 grant. The long-term goal of our research is to understand how synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity are regulated by the synaptic release machinery. In addition, we are interested how scaffolding proteins and cell adhesion molecules are involved in the modulation of synaptic function and neurological disorders, such as autism and epilepsy. We utilize behavioral, genetic, biochemical, imaging, and electrophysiological techniques to study signaling in the brain of the worm C. elegans. Our current research lines focus on: (1) balance of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter release in the nervous system. (2) protein code for release kinetics of synaptic transmission; (3) molecular mechanism for synaptic release probability and short-term plasticity; (4) regulation of behavioral plasticity at molecular and circuit levels; (5) Functional analysis of autism candidate genes in regulating synaptic function.

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    Dr Zhitao Hu: Neurotransmitter release

    The Hu group focusses on candidate genes to understand their functional importance in synapses.

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    Professor Massimo Hilliard

    NHMRC Leadership Fellow - GL
    Queensland Brain Institute
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    Queensland Brain Institute

    Dr Massimo A. Hilliard received his PhD in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Biology in 2001 from the University of Naples, Italy. His experimental work, performed at the Institute of Genetics and Biophysics of the CNR (Italian National Council of Research), was aimed at understanding the neuronal and genetic basis of aversive taste behavior (bitter taste) in C. elegans.

    During his first postdoc at the University of California, San Diego, using the Ca2+ indicator Cameleon he published the first direct visualisation of chemosensory activity in C. elegans neurons. In his second postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco and at The Rockefeller University, he switched from neuronal function to neuronal development, focusing in particular on how neurons establish and orient their polarity with respect to extracellular cues.

    From September 2007, he is at the Queensland Brain Institute where he established an independent laboratory.

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    Professor Massimo Hilliard: Molecular and cellular neurobiology

    The Hilliard laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate neuronal development, maintenance and repair, using C. elegans as a model system. The group’s current research goals are: (1) how the axon, which is the longest of the neuronal processes, is subdivided into structurally and functionally different compartments, (2) how the axon maintains its structure and function over the lifetime of the organism, and (3) how the axon can be repaired when severing damage occurs. 

    Find out more


     

    Professor Frederic Meunier

    Professor and Academic Snr Gp Lead
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
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    Professor Frederic Meunier obtained his Masters degree in Neurophysiology at the Paris XI University, France in 1992 and completed his Ph.D in Neurobiology at the CNRS in Gif-sur-Yvette, France in 1996. He was the recipient of a European Biotechnology Fellowship and went on to postgraduate work at the Department of Biochemistry at Imperial College (1997-1999) and at Cancer Research UK (2000-2002) in London, UK. After a short sabbatical at the LMB-MRC in Cambridge (UK), he became a group leader at the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Queensland (Australia) in 2003. He joined the Queensland Brain Institute of the University of Queensland in 2007 and obtained an NHMRC senior research fellowship in 2009 renewed in 2014 with promotion. He became Professor in 2014 at the Queensland Brain Institute and is currently part of the Centre for Ageing Dementia Research.

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    Professor Frederic Meunier: Single Molecule Neuroscience Laboratory

    The overall goal of our research is to determine how brain cells communicate and survive in health and disease. Our lab focuses on the molecular events that govern vesicular trafficking within presynaptic nerve terminals and neurosecretory cells. Our discoveries have led to a deep understanding of how secretory vesicles interact with the cortical actin network prior to fusing with the plasma membrane to release the neurotransmitter. 

    Find out more


     

    Selected recent publications

    Visualizing endocytic recycling and trafficking in live neurons by subdiffractional tracking of internalized molecules 
    Joensuu, Merja, Martinez-Marmol, Ramon, Padmanabhan, Pranesh, Glass, Nick R., Durisic, Nela, Pelekanos, Matthew, Mollazade, Mahdie, Balistreri, Giuseppe, Amor, Rumelo, Cooper-White, Justin J., Goodhill, Geoffrey J. and Meunier, Frederic A. (2017) Nature Protocols12 12:2590-2622. doi:10.1038/nprot.2017.116

    In vivo single-molecule imaging of syntaxin1A reveals polyphosphoinositide- and activity-dependent trapping in presynaptic nanoclusters
    Bademosi, Adekunle T., Lauwers, Elsa, Padmanabhan, Pranesh, Odierna, Lorenzo, Chai, Ye Jin, Papadopulos, Andreas, Goodhill, Geoffrey J., Verstreken, Patrik, Van Swinderen, Bruno and Meunier, Frederic A. (2017) Nature Communications8 . doi:10.1038/ncomms13660

    Subdiffractional tracking of internalized molecules reveals heterogeneous motion states of synaptic vesicles
    Joensuu, Merja, Padmanabhan, Pranesh, Durisic, Nela, Bademosi, Adekunle T. D., Cooper-Williams, Elizabeth, Morrow, Isabel C., Harper, Callista B., Jung, WooRam, Parton, Robert G., Goodhill, Geoffrey J., Papadopulos, Andreas and Meunier, Frederic A. (2016)  Journal of Cell Biology215 2: 277-292. doi:10.1083/jcb.201604001

    Flux of signalling endosomes undergoing axonal retrograde transport is encoded by presynaptic activity and TrkB
    Wang, Tong, Martin, Sally, Nguyen, Tam H., Harper, Callista B., Gormal, Rachel S., Martinez-Marmol, Ramon, Karunanithi, Shanker, Coulson, Elizabeth J., Glass, Nick R., Cooper-White, Justin J., Van Swinderen, Bruno and Meunier, Frederic A. (2016)  Nature Communications7 . doi:10.1038/ncomms12976

    The Munc18-1 domain 3a hinge-loop controls syntaxin-1A nanodomain assembly and engagement with the SNARE complex during secretory vesicle priming
    Kasula, Ravikiran, Chai, Ye Jin, Bademosi, Adekunle T., Harper, Callista B., Gormal, Rachel S., Morrow, Isabel C., Hosy, Eric, Collins, Brett M., Choquet, Daniel, Papadopulos, Andreas and Meunier, Frederic A. (2016)  The Journal of Cell Biology214 7: 847-858. doi:10.1083/jcb.201508118

    Munc18-1 is a molecular chaperone for α-synuclein, controlling its self-replicating aggregation
    Chai, Ye Jin, Sierecki, Emma, Tomatis, Vanesa M., Gormal, Rachel S., Giles, Nichole, Morrow, Isabel C., Xia, Di, Götz, Jürgen, Parton, Robert G., Collins, Brett M., Gambin, Yann and Meunier, Frédéric A. (2016) The Journal of Cell Biology214 6: 705-718. doi:10.1083/jcb.201512016

    Profiling of free fatty acids using stable isotope tagging uncovers a role for saturated fatty acids in neuroexocytosis
    Narayana, Vinod K., Tomatis, Vanesa M., Wang, Tong, Kvaskoff, David and Meunier, Frederic A. (2015) Cell Chemistry and Biology22 11: 1552-1561. doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2015.09.010

    Control of autophagosome axonal retrograde flux by presynaptic activity unveiled using botulinum neurotoxin type A
    Wang, Tong, Martin, Sally, Papadopulos, Andreas, Harper, Callista B., Mavlyutov, Timur A., Niranjan, Dhevahi, Glass, Nick R., Cooper-White, Justin J., Sibarita, Jean-Baptiste, Choquet, Daniel, Davletov, Bazbek and Meunier, Frederic A. (2015) Journal of Neuroscience35 15: 6179-6194. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3757-14.2015

    Activity-driven relaxation of the cortical actomyosin II network synchronizes Munc18-1-dependent neurosecretory vesicle docking
    Papadopulos, Andreas, Gomez, Guillermo A., Martin, Sally, Jackson, Jade, Gormal, Rachel S., Keating, Damien J., Yap, Alpha S. and Meunier, Frederic A. (2015) Nature Communications6 6297: 1-11. doi:10.1038/ncomms7297

    An acto-myosin II constricting ring initiates the fission of activity-dependent bulk endosomes in neurosecretory cells
    Gormal, Rachel S, Nguyen, Tam H, Martin, Sally, Papadopulos, Andreas and Meunier, Frederic A (2015)  Journal of Neuroscience35 4: 1380-1389. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3228-14.2015

    Professor Peter Nestor

    Professor in Neuroscience
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
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    Researcher biography: 

    Prof Nestor joined the Queensland Brain Institute in October/2017 and has a conjoint appointment as a cognitive neurologist at Mater Misericordiae Ltd (Mater Hospital).

    His particular interests include understanding the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease (i.e. before dementia is established); atypical forms of dementia with a particular focus on primary progressive aphasia and dementias related to Parkinson's and Lewy body diseases; and improving differential diagnosis between the major categories of neurodegenerative diseases.

    He works on development of neuropsychological tests of cognition, both to accurately track change over time and improve diagnostic accuracy between the major diseases causing dementia. He also uses multi-modal imaging (magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] and positron emission tomography [PET]) to understand the sequence of events occurring in degenerative brain diseases (particularly Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson's disease, motor neuron disease [ALS], progressive supranuclear palsy [PSP] and corticobasal degeneration [CBD]) and identify novel biomarkers. A major focus of his is on developing novel approaches to MR imaging for single subject pathological diagnoses that can be exported into the everyday clinical setting; recent examples include diffusion tensor imaging to identify PSP and CBD (Sajjadi et al, 2013) and quantitative susceptibility mapping in Parkinson's disease (Acosta-Cabornero et al, 2013).

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    Professor Peter Nestor: Cognitive neurology

    Professor Nestor aims to relate the neuropsychological and behavioural profiles of degenerative dementias, such as Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia, to regional brain damage through neuroimaging (MRI and PET) and histopathological analysis. His particular interest is the pathological landscape of incipient dementia (so-called mild cognitive impairment).

    Find out more


     

    Dr Patricio Opazo Olavarria

    Honorary Senior Fellow
    Queensland Brain Institute
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    Dr Patricio Opazo Olavarria: Synaptic memory

    The main direction of our research is to understand how memories are stored in the brain and how they are lost during the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Given the long-lasting nature of memories, we focus in the long-lasting structural modifications in the brain that might serve as a substrate for memory storage. In the last decade, the advancement of 2-photon imaging microscopy has allowed the in vivo visualisation of subcellular structural modifications in the brain as animals learn a given memory task.

    Find out more


     

    Originally from Chile, Dr Patricio Opazo completed undergraduate training in biochemistry at the Universidad de Concepcion. Given a general interest in the molecular basis of cognition, he pursued a PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles in the laboratory of Dr Thomas O’Dell investigating the signaling pathways driving long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission, an electrophysiological signature of memory formation. For his postdoctoral training, he joined the lab of Dr Daniel Choquet at the Université de Bordeaux to take a more reductionist approach in the study of memory by investigating the trafficking of individual AMPA receptors to synapses, a critical step for synaptic potentiation, using single-particle tracking microscopy. Dr Opazo then joined the lab of Dr Tobias Bonhoeffer at the Max-Planck Institute in Munich and took a more integrative approach to memory by investigating the role of subcellular structural changes underlying behavioral memory. In April 2016, Dr Opazo joined the Queensland Brain Institute’s Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research to continue investigating the basis of memory and at the same time, take advantage of this basic knowledge to elucidate the alterations leading to memory dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. 

    Associate Professor Steven Zuryn

    Principal Research Fellow - GL
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Researcher profile is public: 
    1
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    Dr Steven Zuryn is a molecular geneticist within the Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland. After training as a PhD in genetics, he undertook postdoctoral reseach at the Institut Génétique Biologie Moléculaire Cellulaire (IGBMC) in Strasbourg, France. He now leads an international and diverse team of postdoctoral, PhD, Honours, and undergraduate investigators studying epigenetics and mitochondrial biology. His laboratory's work focuses on the role and impact of mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases and is particularly fascinated with mutations that accumulate within the mitochondria's own genome during ageing. His research has been published in the high profile journals Science, Nature Cell Biology, and Nature Communications and has appeared in multiple mainstream media outlets. For his research, he has received multiple international prizes and fellowships, been awarded grants from the NHMRC and ARC as primary chief investigator and is generously supported as a fellow of the Stafford Fox Research Foundation. Steven is passionate about communicating the critical importance of fundamental scientific research as a long-term human endeavour.

    Follow the Zuryn lab on Twitter: @zurynlab

    Visit the Zuryn lab website.

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    Dr Steven Zuryn: Epigenetics and Mitochondrial Biology Lab

    The Zuryn lab uses cutting-edge molecular techniques in the highly successful genetic model organism C. elegans as well as human cell culture to understand the fundamental mechanisms that promote disease progression caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondria harbour their own genome (mtDNA), which is prone to accumulating mutations as we age leading to dysfunction that may contribute to the progressive nature of neurodegenerative diseases.

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    Professor Gail Robinson

    NHMRC Boosting Dementia Res Fellow
    Queensland Brain Institute
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    Professor Gail Robinson has been a clinical neuropsychologist and researcher for ~25 years in Australia and in London (UK), where she spent 14 years at the dynamic and historic National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. In 2010, she transitioned from a clinical role to an academic position at The University of Queensland where she has been director of the Clinical Neuropsychology Doctoral programme (2010-2018). Her clinical research is focused on both theoretical questions about brain-behaviour relationships like the crucial mechanisms for the executive control of language, and clinical questions regarding cognitive assessment and management of various pathologies including neurodegenerative disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, brain tumours and stroke. Professor Robinson has attracted internal and national funding; at present she Leads the Neuropsychology Core of a large-scale longitudinal and multidisciplinary NHMRC Dementia Team Research grant (Prospective Imaging Study of Ageing: Genes, Brain and Behaviour [PISA]: $6.5 million; 2015-2022). She was the recipient of an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) in 2012 and a NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship in 2018 in which she has been focused on early neurocognitive diagnostic indicators for dementia.

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    Professor Gail Robinson: Cognitive and clinical neuropsychology

    The Robinson group's clinical research is focused on both theoretical questions about brain-behaviour relationships like the crucial mechanisms for the executive control of language, and clinical questions regarding cognitive assessment and management of various pathologies including neurodegenerative disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, brain tumours and stroke.

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