Brain power combined to form new $125M institute

In an effort to discover better treatments for brain disorders and create one of the world's top 10 neuroscience research institutes, the Howard Florey Institute, Brain Research Institute and the National Stroke Research Institute will amalgamate to form a new neuroscience institute in Melbourne.

As part of the Victorian Government funded project, the Mental Health Research Institute has decided to move from its current premises to co-locate with the yet to be named new institute.

The project to merge and co-locate will receive $53 million from the Victorian Government, which will help fund the construction of new facilities at the University of Melbourne's Parkville campus and at the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg.

The entire project is estimated to cost over $125 million and the participants in the new institute are currently seeking further financial support from philanthropists.

The new institute will focus on major brain and mind disorders including stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, dementia, Parkinson's disease, addiction, schizophrenia and mood disorders.

The Director's of the four Institutes are delighted with the Victorian Government's commitment to further develop neuroscience research in Melbourne.

Director of the Howard Florey Institute, Professor Frederick Mendelsohn AO said, "We are proud to partner with the Victorian Government in this ambitious venture that will help reinforce Melbourne's position as Australia's medical research capital."

Director of the Brain Research Institute, Professor Graeme Jackson said, "By joining forces with other leading neuroscience institutes, we hope to unravel the secrets of the brain and find better treatments for the millions of Australians affected by brain disorders every year."

Director of the National Stroke Research Institute, Professor Geoffrey Donnan said, "Combining our talents will also help us attract outstanding scientists from around the world to our institute."

Director of the Mental Health Research Institute, Professor George Fink said, "Schizophrenia, Depression and Alzheimer's Dementia afflict more than 4 million Australians each year. This imaginative Government led initiative will greatly facilitate our research efforts to discover new strategies for preventing, ameliorating and curing these crippling mental disorders".

The four research institutes will combine their world-class research skills in brain and mind disorders to establish the basis for the development of more effective treatments to combat neurological and mental disorders. Their discoveries may improve the lives of those directly, and indirectly, affected by brain and mind disorders in Australia, and around the world.

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For more information contact:
Howard Florey Institute: Merrin Rafferty, Public Relations and Development Manager
Ph: +61 383 441 658 M: +61 400 829 601 Email: m.rafferty@hfi.unimelb.edu.au
Web: www.hfi.unimelb.edu.au

Brain Research Institute: Kyahn Timms, Media Manager
Ph:+61 398 664 722
Web: www.brain.org.au

National Stroke Research Institute: Robert Trenberth, Chairman of the NSRI Board
Ph: +61 439 323 835
Web: www.nsri.org.au

Mental Health Research Institute: Ross Johnstone, Development Manager
Ph: +61 393 892 906 M: +61 408 422 221 Email: rjj@mhri.edu.au
Web: www.mhri.edu.a


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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