Digitally created image of a double helix

Genetic Repositories Australia (GRA)



Genetic Repositories Australia (GRA) is a national genetic repository for DNA and cell lines derived from appropriately consented disease-specific and population-based studies. GRA has been supported by a $2 million National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Enabling Facility Grant and is based at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA).

The Chief Investigators on the NHMRC Enabling Grant 401184 are Prof Peter Schofield (Neuroscience Research Australia and University of New South Wales), Assoc Prof Juleen Cavanaugh (Australian National University), Dr Susan Forrest (Australian Genome Research Facility) and Prof John Hopper (University of Melbourne).

Change of funding arrangements for NHMRC Enabling Facilities
Important changes in NHMRC Support Mechanisms have been implemented; please refer to the following letter for further information.

NHMRC Support Mechanisms PDF

Obtaining cost estimates for NHMRC Project Grant submissions
If you are intending to submit a Project Grant application which involves the use of Genetic Repositories Australia, then please contact the facility via or (02 9399 1725) as soon as possible to discuss your proposal and to obtain a cost estimate.

Kerrie Pierce

See what’s going on at NeuRA


Caress the Detail: A Comprehensive MRI Atlas of the in Vivo Human Brain

This project aims to deliver the most comprehensive, detailed and stereotaxically accurate MRI atlas of the canonical human brain. In human neuroscience, researchers and clinicians almost always investigate images obtained from living individuals. Yet, there is no satisfactory MRI atlas of the human brain in vivo or post-mortem. There are some population-based atlases, which valiantly solve a number of problems, but they fail to address major needs. Most problematically, they segment only a small number of brain structures, typically about 50, and they are of limited value for the interpretation of a single subject/patient. In contrast to population-based approaches, the present project will investigate normal, living subjects in detail. We aim to define approximately 800 structures, as in the histological atlas of Mai, Majtanik and Paxinos (2016), and, thus, provide a “gold standard” for science and clinical practice. We will do this by obtaining high-resolution MRI at 3T and 7T of twelve subjects through a collaboration with Markus Barth from the Centre for Advanced Imaging at the University of Queensland (UQ). The limited number of subjects will allow us to image each for longer periods, obtaining higher resolution and contrast, and to invest the required time to produce unprecedented detail in segmentation. We will produce an electronic atlas for interpreting MR images, both as a tablet application and as an online web service. The tablet application will provide a convenient and powerful exegesis of brain anatomy for researchers and clinicians. The open access web service will additionally provide images, segmentation and anatomical templates to be used with most common MR-analysis packages (e.g., SPM, FSL, MINC, BrainVoyager). This will be hosted in collaboration with UQ, supporting and complementing their population-based atlas.