Professor Perry Bartlett, founding director of UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), has received the CSL Florey Medal for his breakthrough discoveries, which include finding that the adult brain could change and that its neurons could regenerate.
Professor Bartlett said it was an honour to receive the medal and he was looking forward to the next stage of his research.
“When I started researching the brain in the late 1970s, the general dogma was that the adult brain was fixed and unable to change,” he said.
“So it was very exciting when I was able to prove that there were actually stem cells in the adult brain, which means that the adult brain has the capacity to repair itself. This has significant implications for treatments for people with brain injuries and diseases.”
Professor Bartlett has successfully used exercise to reverse the effects of dementia and recover memories in animal models. He said human exercise trials were expected to start in 2016.
“The effect of dementia on hundreds of thousands of Australians is debilitating and devastating,” Professor Bartlett said.
“If we can show that exercise can actually slow down or reverse the onset of dementia, then we can potentially make a positive difference to a lot of people’s lives.”
UQ acting Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Max Lu congratulated Professor Bartlett on the award.
“The fact that Perry’s excellent work is on the threshold of human trials is encouraging for people worldwide,” he said.
“It holds promise not only for individuals, families and carers living with dementia, but also for all societies confronting the challenges of ageing and the increasing impacts of brain disorders.”
Professor Bartlett is the second UQ CSL Florey medallist, with UQ’s Professor Ian Frazer the 2006 recipient. The medal, awarded every two years, has only been presented to 10 scientists since its inception on 1998.
Professor Bartlett is a Chief Investigator in the Stem Cells Australia initative and co-leader of our Neural Regeneration and Repair Program.
For more information visit QBI website: QBI Founding Director Awarded 2015 CSL Florey Medal
CSL Floery Medal recipient Professor Perry Bartlett [ABC Online, 11 November]
Brain pioneer claims science medal [The Australian, 11 November]
Brisbane brain scientist wins award for contribution to 'last frontier' [Brisbane Times, 11 November]