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Launch of Brain and Mind Centre
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University of Sydney launches Brain and Mind Centre

30 July 2015
Brain and Mind Centre will address critical 21st Century health issues

NSW Premier Mike Baird launched the University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre which will address disorders of the brain and mind.

Premier Mike Baird launched the University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre, bringing together leading scientists nationally and internationally to address critical health issues of the 21st century – disorders of the brain and mind.

The Premier said that through partnership with the Brain and Mind Centre, the NSW Government is embarking on a once-in-a-generation series of health and welfare system reforms, aimed to reduce over-reliance on crisis care and other hospital-based services. This new approach will strengthen community-based support for people who experience conditions that include clinical depression, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, autism, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and drug addiction.

Disorders of the brain and mind now account for more than 40 per cent of all health-related disability. Together they cost the Australian economy an estimated $30 billion each year.

"The Brain and Mind Centre represents a completely new way of conducting research. The breadth and depth of multidisciplinary research to be conducted by the centre will be unparalleled both in Australia and internationally," said Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney.

The Brain and Mind Centre will bring together all of the University’s various disciplines in health and medical research, science, psychology, engineering, and information technology, but also its expertise in ethics, law, philosophy, economics, education, workplace structure and social organisation.

The initial five-year work of the Centre will focus on three key themes: building and maintaining a healthy brain and mind across the life cycle; being in control of one’s own actions; and maximising the social and economic participation of those living with disorders of the brain and mind.

This Centre’s work is underpinned by expertise in the four key domains of neuroscience, clinical medicine, population health and public policy. It brings together researchers, clinicians, practitioners, students and patients and their families across an extensive network of shared facilities and health precincts.

The Brain and Mind Centre represents a completely new way of conducting research.
Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor

The University also announced the creation of two new Research Chairs in mental health, both supported by the University, private philanthropy and the NSW Government. The first is the Michael Crouch Chair in Child Mental Health, focusing on changes in brain development that underpin childhood risks to the major mental disorders.

The second is the Chair in Youth Depression, focusing on the period of teenage and early adult life when the onset and persistence of major mood disorders gives rise to the greatest risk of ongoing disability and suicidal behaviour in young Australians.

Co-director for Health and Policy, Professor Ian Hickie said: “These new chairs will give us the opportunity to transform the landscape of treatment and management of mood disorders in young people in Australia.”

Kirsten Andrews

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