CRC for Mental Health

July 2016 newsletter

Read the July 2016 CRC for Mental Health newsletter here

  • From the CEO
  • New research collaboration launched with the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
  • Knowledge exchange project with Mercy Health
  • Publico Program
  • Our congratulations to …

Broadcast: Diagnosing Dementia – ABC Big Ideas

November 6, 2015Pierre DaoLatest News0

ABC Radio National has broadcast the Diagnosing Dementia event on its Big Ideas program as a part of the ABC’s Mental As week. Hosted by Paul Barclay, an expert panel spoke about how we might be able to detect and diagnose dementia in the future. They also talked about why this research is an important step forward for finding a treatment and even a cure, and when these techniques might become a reality.

Over the past few years, significant progress has been made towards techniques which could diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia 10 – 20 years before symptoms occur. A simple blood test, eye imaging, brain scans and memory tests could all be part of the future for a dementia diagnosis. What could they actually tell us, how accurate are they likely to be and if you could know, would you want to?

The panel consisted of:

  • Mr Graeme Samuel (National President, Alzheimer’s Australia)
  • Ms Jenny Lloyd (Consumer, aged 62)
  • Professor Ashley Bush (Chief Scientific Officer, CRC for Mental Health and Head, Oxidation Laboratory, the Florey)
  • Dr Rachel Buckley – (AADRF Fellow, The University of Melbourne)
  • Dr Shaun Frost – (Research Fellow, Preventative Health Flagship, CSIRO)

You can listen to the broadcast here.

Event: Diagnosing Dementia – What Does the Future Hold?

The CRC for Mental Health is pleased to join with the Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health and Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation to present “Diagnosing Dementia – What Does the Future Hold?” a free public event on 13 August, 6-8pm at the Melbourne Brain Centre . Hosted by Paul Barclay (Host of ABC Big Ideas), an expert panel will discuss the future of detecting and diagnosing dementia, and how this research will help find a treatment.

The panel will consist of:

  • Mr Graeme Samuel (National President, Alzheimer’s Australia)
  • Professor Ashley Bush (Chief Scientific Officer, CRC for Mental Health and Head, Oxidation Laboratory, the Florey)
  • Jenny Lloyd – (Consumer representative)
  • Dr Rachel Buckley – (AADRF Fellow, The University of Melbourne)
  • Dr Shaun Frost – (Research Fellow, Preventative Health Flagship, CSIRO)

This event will be recorded for ABC Radio National.

More information and registrations for the event can be found here.

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Australian Science Shines for Pfizer

The CRC for Mental Health was highlighted in the Australian Trade Commission’s case study, ‘Australian Science Shines for Pfizer’. The article features Dr. Daniel Grant (Head of External R&D Innovation Pfizer Australia), as he speaks about Pfizer’s involvement in Australian science, saying “Australia has some of the world’s best academics in areas such as oncology, immunology and neurology.”  Twitter_logo_blue_16 He believes that “creating and maintaining an operating environment that recognises innovation and in turn can attract the growing investment attached to the discovery and development of, in particular, biologics or large molecules, has “the potential to return significant benefits to the Australian economy.” Twitter_logo_blue_16

Pfizer is an important industry participant of the CRC for Mental Health. Dr. Grant describes the work of the CRC as “very exciting” and reaffirms Pfizer’s interest in looking “to grow our interaction with the collaborating partners and in doing so progress the important work of discovering early biomarkers that have the potential to advance the development of new therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease, psychoses, and mood disorders.” He emphasizes that Pfizer has been an “active participant in many of the Australian government’s programs that are designed to support collaborations between companies and academic research groups, such as the Australian Research Council Linkage grants and CRC program,” highlighting the importance of collaborative research in Australia.

Read the full article



Video: web-based repository to improve early detection of mental illnesses

About this video: In this five-minute video, Dr. Noel Faux, molecular biologist and bioinformatician at the CRC for Mental Health talks about the challenges of seeking biomarkers for the early detection of mental illness such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and, mood disorders.

Dr. Faux talks about a web-based repository the CRC for Mental Health is co-creating with commercial firm, Arcitecta, to improve the early detection of mental illness by simplifying the management and analysis of over 100 terabytes of data stored at 19 different locations, covering longitudinal cohort studies ranging from 2 years to 20 years.

This web-based repository will make it easier for researchers to collaborate and gather information from the participants of a number of studies, many of whom are unable to attend assessment clinics or sites to share information about their illness.

This new system will make it easier to collect data at the bedside (using mobile devices). It will also make it easier to combine these data with the CRC for Mental Health’s existing information taken from body scans, genomic analysis, EEG, blood tests and clinical notes, using a product based on Arcitecta’s Mediaflux data management platform.



Early career researcher monthly video conference

February 2, 2015Pierre DaoLatest News0

The CRC held its first monthly video conference in a new professional development series that aims to train and equip new postgraduates with skills and attributes to continue being productive in the biomedical research field.  This month, Chief Executive Officer, Professor Ian Cooke spoke about “Governance and Management”, giving students an awareness of important concepts, processes and developments from outside their discipline. They will continue to run throughout the year, providing early career researchers with a unique training program, as well as the chance for regular interaction, both in Melbourne and in Perth.

Bringing understanding to mind

January 5, 2015Pierre DaoLatest News0

Date: December 2014

Article from: Inspiring Australia

The CRC for Mental Health appears in the December 2014 Inspiring Australia newsletter, an update on the Federal Government national strategy for science engagement. The article highlights the importance of the community engagement events run by the CRC including, ‘Not just one thing : art, science and schizophrenia’ and ‘Science & Dementia’,  in generating discussion and awareness of mental health issues. Inspiring Australia’s Program Manager Simon France commented that the events created “sustainable demand and product for science engagement,” with over half of the initially funded projects continuing beyond government funding.

Read the full Inspiring Australia article

Read about our community education program