Targeted treatment for schizophrenia on the horizon

New techniques to map the human brain and develop targeted therapies to reduce the impact of schizophrenia is the focus of a Monash University neuroscientist after receiving a prestigious fellowship to further his work.

Associate Professor Alexander Fornito, of the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences (MICCN), was recently presented with a prestigious 2017 Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation Senior Medical Research Fellowship.

The Fellowships are awarded annually, with this year’s announcement committing just over $3.6 million to three researchers undertaking leading edge research into fighting cancer, antimicrobial resistance and schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a devastating illness that alters a person’s relationship with reality. Across his five-year Fellowship, Associate Professor Fornito will be combining brain imaging, brain stimulation, genetics and mathematical modelling to identify the brain circuits and molecules that impact risk for schizophrenia, and to develop targeted therapies designed to reduce disease risk.

“I feel very honoured to have been awarded a Senior Medical Research Fellowship, and I am thankful for the support given by the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation,” Associate Professor Fornito said.

“With this Fellowship, and the support of MICCN and Monash, we aim to better understand schizophrenia and to develop targeted therapies that can inform treatment and reduce the impact of the disorder.”

Chairman of the Viertel Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board, Professor Peter Leedman, congratulated the 2017 Fellowships recipients.

“The Foundation firmly believes in this investment in the future and is proud to support the work of these talented researchers,” Mr Leedman said.

“Many of our past Fellows are now world-leaders, supporting great research teams in Australian research institutions.  Some have achieved research translation, with their developments now supporting health treatments and better outcomes for the population.”

MICCN congratulates Associate Professor Fornito on his Fellowship and looks forward to unveiling the impact it has on the clinic and the community.

Read the full Equity Trustees media release here.