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QIMR Berghofer scientist receives top research gong

QIMR Berghofer’s world-renowned mental health researcher, Professor Michael Breakspear, has been named the inaugural researcher of the year at this year’s Metro North Hospital and Health Service Research Excellence Awards.

Professor Breakspear received the award for his work, which addresses the way the brain works in health and in mental illness.

His ground-breaking research uses a combination of brain imaging technology, computer modelling, genetics and clinical neuroscience to better understand, predict and diagnose conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.

“It is a tremendous honour to receive this award,” Professor Breakspear said.

“There is still so much we don’t understand about the brain, but I hope that our research is helping to improve the lives of people with mental health conditions, and, in the future, will help to prevent the onset of conditions like bipolar disorder.”

Professor Breakspear also took out the Technology and Biotechnology Award for his work using brain imaging technology.

Professor Barbara Leggett and her team from QIMR Berghofer’s Conjoint Gastroenterology laboratory were also recognised in the Innovation and Creativity category for their research into the early detection of colorectal cancers that have a genetic background.