The 2015 Research Gifts Program is now open.

Click here for 2015 Research Gift Information and Application Form.

New in 2015:

For the very first time the Brain Foundation has awarded a major research grant of $300,000. We congratulate Dr Neil Spratt based in Newcastle on this award. His research will be in the area of stroke. He was officially recognised at the ANZAN AGM in New Zealand in May 2015.  This grant has been partly funded by the Tamworth North West Committee.  We thank them for their support.


Imagine not being able to talk to people, or not understand what they’re saying because your speech centres have been affected by stroke. Or not being able to walk because of a spinal cord injury. Or not being able to feed yourself because of weakness involving your arms due to Motor Neurone Disease. These are confronting thoughts, but these are the problems that are faced by many Australians today, and it is these diseases and others that the Brain Foundation is helping to overcome through its research and support programs.

Professor Matthew Kiernan
Brain Foundation Grant Recipient

Donate to Vital Brain Research Leave a Bequest
Since 1970 the Brain Foundation has supported hundreds of research projects throughout Australia.  Brain Foundation grants have helped to discover:

  • a new treatment for migraine based on the discovery of the relationship of a chemical transmitter serotonin to migraine
  • new surgical methods of stopping tremor and other involuntary movements
  • a serum which contains ApoE4, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease
  • a method of detecting and correcting blood vessel spasms following strokes, injuries and operations
  • a procedure which enables brain tumours to be identified more readily and provide a check on complete removal of tumours using ultrasound
  • the location of the gene for a common form of inherited neuropathy causing weakness of the hands and legs (on chromosome 17)
  • a method of analysing the tremor of Parkinson’s disease to distinguish it from other causes of trembling
  • the gene responsible for compression paralysis in families with sensitivity of peripheral nerves to pressure.

The Brain Foundation has been contributing to clinical brain research since 1970.  During the past seven years, the Brain Foundation has contributed over $3,500,000 to fund research by neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuroscientists in the following areas, plus many other diseases and disorders:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia
  • Brain Tumour
  • Deafness
  • Dystonia
  • Epilepsy (affects more 45,000 Australians)
  • Head Injury
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Migraine (affects more than three million Australians)
  • Chronic Headache (affects more than four million Australians)
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Muscle Disease
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Various aspects of neurosurgery
  • Parkinson’s Disease (affects more than 35,000 Australians)
  • Pediatric Neurology
  • Peripheral Nerve Disease
  • Renal failure
  • Stroke (40,000 Australians annually suffer a stroke)
  • Vertigo, balance and Meniere’s Disease.

These disorders alone affect millions of Australians, ranging from the very young to the very old, and indications are that the relative incidence of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinson’s are INCREASING.  Please DONATE to help us reverse this trend.

Brain Foundation grants have been awarded to researchers working in many institutions in all Australian States and Territories including:

Alfred Hospital
Australian National University
Children’ s Hospital at Westmead
Concord Hospital
Flinders University
Florey Neuroscience Institutes
Garvan Institute
Gosford Hospital
Griffith University
Hornsby Hospital
Howard Florey Institute
John Hunter Hospital
Kolling Institute of Medical Research
Macquarie University
Mental Health Research Institute
Menzies Research Institute
Monash University
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
National Ageing Research Institute
Neuroscience Research Australia
New Children’s Hospital
NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre
Prince of Wales Hospital
Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital
Royal Children’s Hospital
Royal Hobart Hospital
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Royal North Shore Hospital
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney
St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne
Sydney Children’s Hospital
University of Adelaide
University of Melbourne
University of New South Wales
University of Newcastle
University of Queensland
University of South Australia
University of Sydney
University of Tasmania
University of Western Australia
Westmead Hospital

Please consider donating to help maintain and expand our crucial brain research.

Where does your money go?

Loading Year...

Each year the Brain Foundation provides research grants to applicants who are selected by our Scientific Committee.
Read more about our funding process.

Grant Award Ceremony: Monday, 13 October 2014 – The Great Hall, Sydney University

Congratulations to all the recipients of 2014 Brain Foundation Research Gift Awards. This year we awarded 11 grants, plus the Elizabeth Penfold Simpson Award.

Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AO CVO has been the Guest of Honour and presented the Awards almost every year since they started at The Great Hall, Sydney University. This makes the Awards Ceremony a very special occasion when successful applicants explain the nature and aims of their projects.

Elizabeth Penfold Simpson Award

Human adult dental pulp stem cells enhance poststroke functional recovery through non-neural replacement mechanisms

2014 Dr Karlea Kremer
Dr Karlea Kremer


Epilepsy and chronic neuropathic pain

Funded by Australian Executor Trustees and Michael Rogers Stirling

2014 Dr Susan Tomlinson
Dr Susan Tomlinson
University of Sydney

Neuro-trauma Award

Return of memory after traumatic brain injury

Funded by Peter Winder Hill Estate and the Bruce Wall Trust

2014 Dr Gershon Spitz
Dr Gershon Spitz
Epworth Research Foundation

Brain Tumours

Can expression of the NFI genes in glioblastoma stop tumour growth?

Funded by Rex Owen Banks Estate and Rosemary Palmer Brown

2014 Dr Jens Bunt
Dr Jens Bunt
University of Queensland

Brain Tumours

Targetting the YAP pathway in GBM stem cells

Funded by Brian Quilty Memorial Fund and Stephanie Ledonne Memorial Fund

2014 Dr Andrew Gogos
Dr Andrew Gogos
University of Melbourne

Cerebral Diseases

Targetting brain swelling to improve long-term outcome following stroke

Funded by Bill Goodridge Estate and Alice Jones Estate

2014 Dr Renee Turner
Dr Renee Turner
The University of Adelaide

Cerebral Diseases

Progranulin, blood brain barrier integrity and ischaemic stroke

Funded by Coulson Memorial Trust and Idelia May Jaques Estates

2014 Dr Katherine Jackman
Dr Katherine Jackman
Melbourne Brain Centre


Movement and postural control in dystonia patients

Funded by Paul Ainsworth Charitable Foundation

2014 Dr Florence Chang
Dr Florence Chang
Westmead Hospital

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Automating brain scan analysis to improve the diagnosis of Alheimer's disease in clinical practice

Funded by Nina Hennessy Estate and Kathleen Toy Estates

2014 Assoc Prof Stephen Bowden
Associate Professor Stephen Bowden
University of Melbourne

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Function of Parkinson's Disease protein synuclein

Funded by Ami Olian Memorial Estate and Alma George

2014 Dr Mark Graham
Dr Mark Graham
Children's Medical Research Institute, NSW

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Determining the influence of sleep quantity and quality on memory, thinking and biological markers of Alzheimer's disease

Funded by Alma May George Estate and Esther Hennessy Estate

2014 Dr Stephanie Rainey-Smith
Dr Stephanie Ruth Rainey-Smith
McCusker Alzheimer's Research Foundation

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Modelling Alzheimer's disease in patient-derived neurons

Funded by Gustaf Ringtrom Estate and Grace Adams

2014 Dr Lezanne Ooi
Dr Lezanne Ooi
University of Wollongong