Milestone for the BMRI

11 August 2014

BMRI director Professor Ian Hickie

The Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) last week opened a new national centre of research excellence, Optymise, which aims to deliver greatly enhanced care for young people with emerging depression or bipolar mood disorders.

The new NHMRC-funded service, launched at a one-day seminar at the Charles Perkins Centre research and education hub, marks a significant milestone for the BMRI in its transition to a strategic area of priority for the University.

The event gathered Australia's best mental health researchers and clinical service providers from the BMRI, the Black Dog Institute, Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

"Until now, we haven't really focused on meeting young people's needs, we haven't optimised the personalisation of care, and we haven't really committed ourselves to sticking with young people. That's what is required to achieve the best possible health and social outcomes," said BMRI Director, Professor Ian Hickie (pictured).

"This is a major national initiative, linked with key international partners in the United States and Europe, to achieve those aims. A young person with an emerging mood disorder will receive a detailed summary of what is really wrong and a clear path for tracking their progress over time."

"This new centre of excellence also marks a decade of significant effort and deserved recognition for the clinical research programs developed by our local teams and their collaborative health service partners."

The transformation of the BMRI from an administrative unit in the Sydney Medical School to a Strategic Priority Area for Research Collaboration (SPARC) forms part of the HMR+ implementation program. It will help realise the University's vision for multi-disciplinary research and education that delivers solutions for our society.