Professor Linda Richards: Brain development and disorders lab

The Richards’ laboratory began a new era of research in 2015 by establishing protocols for examining brain wiring in human subjects. To launch this, the laboratory hosted an international conference called Cortical Connections, where a new international consortium of scientists and clinicians working on developmental brain disorders was established. The consortium will bring data together from different laboratories in Australia and internationally to help identify genes causing human brain disorders.

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Researcher biography

Linda J. Richards AO, PhD, FAA, FAHMS is a Professor of Neuroscience and former Deputy Director (Research) at the Queensland Brain Institute at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia (2015-2020). In 2019 she was appointed an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia (General Division). She is a Fellow of both the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and is a National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellow. Professor Richards is Past President of the Australasian Neuroscience Society, Executive Member and International Brain Initiative (IBI) Representative with the Australian Brain Alliance. She is also Australian representative, spokesperson and member, International Brain Initiative Initial Strategy Committee. From 2018 to 2020 Professor Richards was a member of the Federal Government's Million Minds Mission Advisory Panel.

Professor Richards is Head of the Brain Development and Disorders Laboratory at QBI. Her laboratory team strives to understand how the brain forms during development and how these processes are disrupted causing human developmental brain disorders and brain cancer. Professor Richards is a leading expert on the formation of the corpus callosum and is scientific advisor and patron for Australian Disorders of the Corpus Callosum (AusDoCC).

In 2015 she co-founded an International Consortium for the Corpus Callosum and Cerebral Connectivity with colleagues from Australia, USA, France and Brazil. The consortium brings together clinicians and scientists working to identify the causes of developmental brain disorders and how best to provide support and care for affected individuals and their families.

Professor Richards has received a number of awards and fellowships throughout her career including the Charles Judson Herrick Award from the American Association of Anatomists in 2004 and the Nina Kondelos award from the Australasian Neuroscience Society in 2010.

Professor Richards is passionate about the public awareness of science and in 2006 she founded the Australian Brain Bee Challenge, a competition for high school students to learn about the brain. Over 30,000 high school students have participated in the challenge and students from Australia have won the international brain bee competition three times and placed in every event since 2006.