BrainsCAN and the Florey combine expertise to tackle brain health

April 27, 2020  -  BrainsCAN Communications

BrainsCAN and Florey logos with a map

In an effort to better understand the brain, researchers at Western University’s BrainsCAN have teamed up with researchers from The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Australia to work together on fundamental brain research.

A new memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between BrainsCAN and the Florey in March 2020, bringing neuroscientists from both institutions together to collaborate on solutions for maintaining a healthy brain.

“Renowned researchers at the Florey and BrainsCAN are already working to better understand the brain,” said Lisa Saksida, Co-Scientific Director of Western’s BrainsCAN and scientist at Robarts Research Institute. “This partnership will bring our unique expertise together, allowing for collaborative research and accelerating our understanding of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.”

Lisa Saksida

Lisa Saksida

Jess Nithianantharajah

Jess Nithianantharajah

Lisa Saksida, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Co-Scientific Director of Western’s BrainsCAN, and Jess Nithianantharajah, Associate Professor and Head of the Synapse Biology and Cognition research laboratory at the Florey developed the MOU between BrainsCAN and the Florey.

The Florey, located in Melbourne, Australia, is the largest brain research centre in the southern hemisphere, with expertise in various brain disorders including stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Autism Spectrum Disorder, schizophrenia and addiction. 

Since 2016, BrainsCAN has supported brain research at Western with high-impact projects currently underway for neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Autism Spectrum Disorder, concussions and stroke. 

"Research underway at the Florey and Western’s BrainsCAN has enormous synergistic potential to drive innovative approaches to tackle disorders of the brain and mind. This MOU will open up new opportunities for collaboration and help us grow the partnerships to strengthen global intellectual exchange and training,” said Associate Professor Jess Nithianantharajah, Head of the Synapse Biology and Cognition research laboratory at the Florey.

"The current global health crises of COVID-19 highlights how coming together as an international research community to accelerate scientific knowledge and advancements is needed now more than ever,” added Nithianantharajah.

The partnership between BrainsCAN and the Florey officially began in March 2020. As part of this MOU, principal investigators, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students from Western and the Florey will have increased access to the training opportunities and institutional resources available at both locations.

In addition to the partnership with the Florey, BrainsCAN is also working collaboratively with other neuroscience institutes including RIKEN Centre for Brain Research in Japan, Yonsei University in South Korea and Cardiff University in Wales, UK.

More information on opportunities to connect with the Florey will be posted to BrainsCAN’s website when available. For questions, please contact brainscan@uwo.ca.