Next-generation maps and models of the human brain

Understanding the human brain is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. It is essential to promote healthy development and ageing, and to better treat psychiatric and neurological disorders, which cost the Australian economy billions each year.

Professor Alex Fornito, from the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, has been awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council ( ARC) Laureate Fellowship for 5 years titled "Next-generation maps and models of the human brain".

The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme supports world-class researchers to conduct research in Australia, to forge strong links across the local and international research community, and to train and mentor early-career researchers.

“This is a wonderful acknowledgement of the efforts made by the incredible team of students and research fellows with whom I have had the pleasure to work with over the years. I have been deeply privileged to have the opportunity to work with such incredible people. The Fellowship is also recognition of the supportive environment that Monash and the Turner Institute provide,” Professor Fornito said.

“ I very much look forward to tackling new challenges in our attempts to understand how the brain works.”

ARC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ms Judi Zielke PSM, said that Laureate Fellows are at the forefront of the national research landscape and are essential in expanding Australia’s knowledge base and research capability.

“ The scheme supports exceptional, world-class researchers to undertake groundbreaking and transformational research and to foster an excellent research training environment and exemplary mentorship to nurture early-career researchers.”

The Director of the Turner Institute, Professor Kim Cornish said Professor Fornito’s Fellowship was an outstanding achievement and well- deserved recognition. “This year, in total 16 fellowships were awarded across the country, making them extremely competitive,”

“It is particularly special because it is the Turners’ first Laureate.”

Next-generation maps and models of the human brain

Impact Statement. Understanding the human brain is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. It is essential to promote healthy development and ageing, and to better treat psychiatric and neurological disorders, which cost the Australian economy billions each year. Professor Fornito will contribute significantly to this endeavour by developing a new framework for understanding some of the fundamental mechanisms that shape human brain function and behaviour.

The Laureate will also deliver new analysis tools for robustly mapping the human brain and for training the next generation of brain scientists. These analysis and training tools will be released as freely available software, ensuring widespread impact and adoption by diverse teams in both science and industry aiming to unlock the mysteries of the brain, to develop strategies for optimal development and ageing, and to ultimately discover new diagnostics and therapeutics for brain disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and autism.

The objectives of the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme are to:

  • support ground-breaking, internationally competitive, basic and applied research
  • forge strong links among researchers, the international research community and/or industry and other research end-users
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in Australian Government priority areas
  • attract and retain outstanding researchers and research leaders of international reputation
  • provide an excellent research training environment and exemplary mentorship to nurture early-career researchers.

https://www.arc.gov.au/funding-research/funding-schemes/discovery-program/australian-laureate-fellowships

Contact:

Julie-Anne Davies
Julie-Anne.Davies@monash.edu