Greater coordination of research needed to ‘crack the brain’s code’

March 27, 2018
(L-R) Professor Linda Richards FAA, Dr Andrew Leigh MP and Ms Anna Maria Arabia

Leading brain scientists are calling for greater coordination and scale of Australian brain science to drive the development of neuro-technologies, and to ensure advances in preventing and treating brain-related diseases are realised in the next ten years.

The scientists will take their “moon-shot” proposal to Australia’s politicians as they launch a national campaign, ‘Crack the Brain’s Code’, this week at Parliament House.

Chair of the Australian Brain Alliance (ABA) and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Linda Richards, said the initiative is aimed at exploiting our country’s unique research strengths, raising the prospect of breakthrough therapies and the emergence of new technologies in Australia.

“The applications of brain science have the potential to define the twenty-first century. Cracking the brain’s code will impact our health and education systems, enhance our national security and defence capability, and allow us to lead in artificial intelligence, machine learning and high-performance computing,” Professor Richards said.

“Australia needs to make a strategic national investment in brain sciences, or else we will fall behind while the rest of the world takes advantage of the advances in brain research.”

Australian brain researcher and clinical neurologist Professor Sam Berkovic (FAA) said Australian science punches above its weight in brain science research, but further investment is needed.

“We have the potential in terms of the people, the technology and the ideas to take things much further,” Professor Sam Berkovic said.

“A greater focus on an integrated trans-disciplinary approach is required to provide revolutionary solutions to some of the most difficult challenges facing brain researchers.”

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