Launching emerging researchers on a path to discovery

One in five Australians is affected by a disease or disorder of the brain and nervous system. The burden on our community is immense and is forecasted to escalate as Australia ages.

NeuRA’s mission is to discover, conquer and cure to bring hope to people affected by diseases or disorders of the brain. To help achieve this vision we have designed the Launch Pad Program to accelerate our researchers on their path to discovery.

NeuRA’s Launch Pad Program is designed to attract and retain the very best and brightest PhD students and post-doctoral fellows from within Australia.

This program is only made possible by the vision and generosity of our donors.

We recently acknowledged a number of our award and scholarship recipients at a presentation event at NeuRA. See the full list of recipients below.

Inaugural Don McDonald Award for Schizophrenia Research

NeuRA has announced the establishment of a significant new award in the field of mental health research, the Don McDonald Award for Schizophrenia Research.

Donald McDonald AM was a great champion of mental health. He was a tireless advocate, community leader and fundraiser, particularly for schizophrenia research. His many achievements include the development of a national alliance of parents, doctors, union and business leaders that led to ongoing government funding for mental health research. He was also Life Governor of the Schizophrenia Research Institute and was widely respected and much loved.

The Don McDonald Award for Schizophrenia Research will support two young schizophrenia researchers: Hayley North, whose research will investigate inflammation and neurogenesis in schizophrenia and across development; and CaitlIn Murphy, who is researching the role of cortical immune activation in schizophrenia and the potential utility of estrogen-based therapy as an adjunctive treatment in schizophrenia.

Don’s family who have established this enduring scholarship in Don’s name joined us at NeuRA during the presentation of the award.

We were also joined by Elizabeth Gilbert who supports NeuRA through the Michael & Elizabeth Gilbert Postgraduate Fellowship in Parkinson’s Disease Research, and Theona and Peter Combos who support NeuRA’s dementia research through the Helen & Emanuel Poteris Award for Dementia Research.

We would like to acknowledge all our generous donors and congratulate all NeuRA’s scholarship and award recipients.

List of award winners:

The Cowled Scholarship for Brain Research: Angeliki Stivacatas
Assessing Lower Limb Strength and Walking Ability in Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis

The Michael and Elizabeth Gilbert Postgraduate Fellowship in Parkinson’s Disease Research: Dr Jasmine Menant
StepSafe: a randomised controlled trial of combined volitional and reactive step training to prevent falls in Parkinson’s disease

The Michael and Elizabeth Gilbert Postgraduate Fellowship in Parkinson’s Disease Research: Dr Matthew Broadie
Standing Tall – Parkinson’s disease: An engaging self-managed m-health solution using smart technologies to reduce step-time variability, prevent freezing of gait and falls, and enhance independence in people with Parkinson’s disease: a randomized controlled trial

Daniel Beck Memorial Award for Schizophrenia Research: Jeremy Lum and Christin Weissleder
Investigating the association of genetic variants in GRM7 on protein expression in the post-mortem schizophrenia brain

Daniel Beck Memorial Award for Schizophrenia Research: Christin Weissleder
Molecular control of adult neurogenesis in psychiatric disorders

Helen and Emanuel Poteris Award for Dementia Research: Mitchell McMaster
Body, Brain, Life for Cognitive Decline

Don McDonald Award for Schizophrenia Research: Hayley North
Inflammation and neurogenesis in schizophrenia and across development

Don McDonald Award for Schizophrenia Research: Caitlin Murphy
The role of cortical immune activation in schizophrenia and the potential utility of estrogen-based therapy as an adjunctive treatment in schizophrenia