Brain Foundation Research

The Brain Foundation 2018 Research Gift Program is now closed.  The 2019 Program will open around March 2019.

Researchers in South Australia are encouraged to apply for the Elizabeth Penfold Simpson Prize – closed 30th July 2018.

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
President Brain Foundation

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.

During the past seven years, the Brain Foundation has contributed over $3,000,000 to fund research by neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuroscientists in the following areas:

  • 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 two million Australians)
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Muscle Disease
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Various aspects of neurosurgery
  • Parkinson’s Disease (affects more than 35,000 Australians)
  • Peripheral Nerve Disease
  • Renal failure
  • Stroke (40,000 Australians annually suffer a stroke)
  • Vertigo, balance and Meniere’s Disease.

These disorders alone affect more than 2.5 million Australians, ranging from the very young to the very old.

Read more about our funding process.

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

Where does your money go?

In 2018 we awarded 21 grants, including the Elizabeth Penfold Simpson Award.

Our Award Ceremony was held on Monday October 29 in Sydney.

Congratulations to all the recipients of 2018 Brain Foundation Research Gift Awards.

CEREBRAL DISEASES

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are abnormalities of blood vessels, in which direct connections form between arteries and veins....

BRAIN TUMOURS

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Human brain tumours (gliomas) generally afflict young individuals in their 30s-40s with significant implications for the individual, their...

EPILEPSY

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Epilepsy affects more than 250,000 Australians, with many of these being refractory to conventional therapies.  This is a...

EPILEPSY

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: The Development and Management of Post traumatic Epilepsy Post traumatic epilepsy (PTE) is a significant health burden on patients...

EPILEPSY

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: In addition to the motor consequences of epilepsy, seizures result in cardiovascular and respiratory consequences that, in some...

NEUROMUSCULAR DISEASE

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Amyloid and paraprotein-associated neuropathies (APAN) are a neglected group of debilitating peripheral nerve disorders, resulting in weakness, sensory...

NEUROMUSCULAR DISEASE

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Establishing an Australian pediatric peripheral neuropathy biobank : a rich future scientific research resource. Peripheral nerve diseases result in...

PAEDIATRIC NEUROLOGY

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common fatal childhood brain cancer. Despite significant advances in the treatment of low-risk...

NEURO-TRAUMA

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: When trauma or disease damages the connection between the motor nerves and skeletal muscle, muscle wasting occurs. This...

NEURO-TRAUMA

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Effect of respiration and pathways of fluid flow in spinal cord cysts Traumatic spinal cord injury is a devastating...

NEURO-TRAUMA

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Childhood concussion is on the rise. Over 1 in 10 children who present to an emergency care setting...

NEURO-TRAUMA

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of disability in Australia and worldwide. The effects of TBI...

NEURO-TRAUMA

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Approximately 200-300 individuals sustain a traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) each year within Australia, however globally this number...

In 2017 we awarded 18 grants, including the Dawn Wallace Fellowship Award.

Our Award Ceremony was held on Monday October 9 in Sydney.

Congratulations to all the recipients of 2017 Brain Foundation Research Gift Awards.

Parkinson’s Disease

2017

Project Summary: Multiple  system  atrophy  (MSA)  affects  over  2000  Australians.  MSA  is  a  distinct  member  of   the  group  of  neurodegenerative ...

Neuromuscular Disease

2017

Project Summary: Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) and multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) are immune disorders of the peripheral nerves. Both...

Paediatric Neurology

2017

Project Summary: Tourette syndrome/tics, obsessive compulsive disorder and autism are very common neuropsychiatric diseases with onset in childhood affecting 1...

Cerebral Diseases

2017

Project Summary: Stroke is an important cause of epileptic seizures in adults. While several factors associated with the development of...

Brain Tumours

2017

Project Summary: A new type of cancer treatment, called “immunotherapy”, stimulates the patient’s immune system to fight their cancer.  The...

Brain Tumours

2017

Project Summary: Today in Australia, 4 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumour. This equates to 1600 tumours in...

Epilepsy

2017

Project Summary: About 1% of people worldwide suffer from epilepsy. Human temporal lobe epilepsy (hTLE) is the most common type...

In 2016 we awarded 20 grants, including The Inaugural Professor James Lance AO CBE Award, and the Elizabeth Simpson Award.
Our Award Ceremony was held on Monday October 24 at The Art Gallery of NSW, with our Guest of Honour being Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO
Congratulations to all the recipients of 2016 Brain Foundation Research Gift Awards.

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 where successful applicants explain the nature and aims of their projects.

Parkinson’s Disease

2016

Project Summary: The typical clinical features of Parkinson’s disease (PD) include slow movements, stiffness and resting tremor, often associated with...

Cerebral Diseases

2016

Project Summary: Every 20 minutes someone in Australia suffers a stroke and approximately half of the stroke survivors have spatial...

Cerebral Diseases

2016

Project Summary: Brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are abnormalities of blood vessels, in which direct connections form between arteries and veins....

Cerebral Diseases

2016

Project Summary: Cerebral carnevous malformation (CCM), also known as Angioma or Cavernoma, is a cerebrovascular disease which affects the blood...

Neuro-Trauma

2016

Project Summary: There is a critical need for inexpensive, individualised rehabilitation interventions that improve motor function in stroke patients. Each...

Brain Tumours

2016

Project Summary: Despite decades of intensive research a patient diagnosed with glioblastoma, a devastating form of brain cancer, still faces...

Brain Tumours

2016

Project Summary: As a neurosurgical trainee at the Royal Melbourne Hosptial, Dr Mitchell manages the care of patients with brain...

Epilepsy

2016

Project Summary: This project will investigate the mechanisms by which a genetic mutation causes epilepsy. Epilepsy is a very common...

Dystonia Webinar

2016

The Brain Foundation is providing you with a free detailed online presentation on Dystonia. Dystonia is a neurological disorder characterised by...

Monday, 19 October 2015
The Great Hall, Sydney University

Congratulations to all the recipients of 2015 Brain Foundation Research Gift Awards. In 2015 we awarded 13 grants, including the first Major Research Gift to Dr Neil Spratt from the University of Newcastle.

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 where successful applicants explain the nature and aims of their projects.

Epilepsy Award

2015

PROJECT SUMMARY: Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder, which usually begins in childhood. Seizures can be well-controlled using medications in...

Monday, 13 October 2014
The Great Hall, Sydney University

Congratulations to all the recipients of 2014 Brain Foundation Research Gift Awards. In 2014 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.

Dystonia

2014

PROJECT SUMMARY: Dystonia is a disabling neurological condition that is relatively common. Primary dystonia has a prevalence of greater that...

Cerebral Diseases

2014

PROJECT SUMMARY: A common, life-threatening complication of stroke is cerebral oedema (brain swelling) and subsequent elevated intracranial pressure (ICP). Stroke...

Brain Tumours

2014

  Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and most deadly form of primary brain cancer. Most patients survive only...

Brain Tumours

2014

PROJECT SUMMARY: Glioblastoma (GBM) is a devastating primary brain cancer that affects around 800 Australians annually. Despite surgery, radiotherapy and...

Neuro-trauma Award

2014

PROJECT SUMMARY: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains one of the leading causes of death, disability, and hospitalization worldwide. TBI has...

Epilepsy

2014

PROJECT SUMMARY: Both neuropathic pain and epilepsy are common chronic disorders which result in significant morbidity to the sufferer, and...

2018

In 2018 we awarded 21 grants, including the Elizabeth Penfold Simpson Award.

Our Award Ceremony was held on Monday October 29 in Sydney.

Congratulations to all the recipients of 2018 Brain Foundation Research Gift Awards.

CEREBRAL DISEASES

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are abnormalities of blood vessels, in which direct connections form between arteries and veins....

BRAIN TUMOURS

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Human brain tumours (gliomas) generally afflict young individuals in their 30s-40s with significant implications for the individual, their...

EPILEPSY

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Epilepsy affects more than 250,000 Australians, with many of these being refractory to conventional therapies.  This is a...

EPILEPSY

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: The Development and Management of Post traumatic Epilepsy Post traumatic epilepsy (PTE) is a significant health burden on patients...

EPILEPSY

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: In addition to the motor consequences of epilepsy, seizures result in cardiovascular and respiratory consequences that, in some...

NEUROMUSCULAR DISEASE

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Amyloid and paraprotein-associated neuropathies (APAN) are a neglected group of debilitating peripheral nerve disorders, resulting in weakness, sensory...

NEUROMUSCULAR DISEASE

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Establishing an Australian pediatric peripheral neuropathy biobank : a rich future scientific research resource. Peripheral nerve diseases result in...

PAEDIATRIC NEUROLOGY

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common fatal childhood brain cancer. Despite significant advances in the treatment of low-risk...

NEURO-TRAUMA

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: When trauma or disease damages the connection between the motor nerves and skeletal muscle, muscle wasting occurs. This...

NEURO-TRAUMA

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Effect of respiration and pathways of fluid flow in spinal cord cysts Traumatic spinal cord injury is a devastating...

NEURO-TRAUMA

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Childhood concussion is on the rise. Over 1 in 10 children who present to an emergency care setting...

NEURO-TRAUMA

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of disability in Australia and worldwide. The effects of TBI...

NEURO-TRAUMA

2018

PROJECT SUMMARY: Approximately 200-300 individuals sustain a traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) each year within Australia, however globally this number...

2017

In 2017 we awarded 18 grants, including the Dawn Wallace Fellowship Award.

Our Award Ceremony was held on Monday October 9 in Sydney.

Congratulations to all the recipients of 2017 Brain Foundation Research Gift Awards.

Parkinson’s Disease

2017

Project Summary: Multiple  system  atrophy  (MSA)  affects  over  2000  Australians.  MSA  is  a  distinct  member  of   the  group  of  neurodegenerative ...

Neuromuscular Disease

2017

Project Summary: Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) and multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) are immune disorders of the peripheral nerves. Both...

Paediatric Neurology

2017

Project Summary: Tourette syndrome/tics, obsessive compulsive disorder and autism are very common neuropsychiatric diseases with onset in childhood affecting 1...

Cerebral Diseases

2017

Project Summary: Stroke is an important cause of epileptic seizures in adults. While several factors associated with the development of...

Brain Tumours

2017

Project Summary: A new type of cancer treatment, called “immunotherapy”, stimulates the patient’s immune system to fight their cancer.  The...

Brain Tumours

2017

Project Summary: Today in Australia, 4 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumour. This equates to 1600 tumours in...

Epilepsy

2017

Project Summary: About 1% of people worldwide suffer from epilepsy. Human temporal lobe epilepsy (hTLE) is the most common type...

2016

In 2016 we awarded 20 grants, including The Inaugural Professor James Lance AO CBE Award, and the Elizabeth Simpson Award.
Our Award Ceremony was held on Monday October 24 at The Art Gallery of NSW, with our Guest of Honour being Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO
Congratulations to all the recipients of 2016 Brain Foundation Research Gift Awards.

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 where successful applicants explain the nature and aims of their projects.

Parkinson’s Disease

2016

Project Summary: The typical clinical features of Parkinson’s disease (PD) include slow movements, stiffness and resting tremor, often associated with...

Cerebral Diseases

2016

Project Summary: Every 20 minutes someone in Australia suffers a stroke and approximately half of the stroke survivors have spatial...

Cerebral Diseases

2016

Project Summary: Brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are abnormalities of blood vessels, in which direct connections form between arteries and veins....

Cerebral Diseases

2016

Project Summary: Cerebral carnevous malformation (CCM), also known as Angioma or Cavernoma, is a cerebrovascular disease which affects the blood...

Neuro-Trauma

2016

Project Summary: There is a critical need for inexpensive, individualised rehabilitation interventions that improve motor function in stroke patients. Each...

Brain Tumours

2016

Project Summary: Despite decades of intensive research a patient diagnosed with glioblastoma, a devastating form of brain cancer, still faces...

Brain Tumours

2016

Project Summary: As a neurosurgical trainee at the Royal Melbourne Hosptial, Dr Mitchell manages the care of patients with brain...

Epilepsy

2016

Project Summary: This project will investigate the mechanisms by which a genetic mutation causes epilepsy. Epilepsy is a very common...

Dystonia Webinar

2016

The Brain Foundation is providing you with a free detailed online presentation on Dystonia. Dystonia is a neurological disorder characterised by...

2015

Monday, 19 October 2015
The Great Hall, Sydney University

Congratulations to all the recipients of 2015 Brain Foundation Research Gift Awards. In 2015 we awarded 13 grants, including the first Major Research Gift to Dr Neil Spratt from the University of Newcastle.

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 where successful applicants explain the nature and aims of their projects.

Epilepsy Award

2015

PROJECT SUMMARY: Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder, which usually begins in childhood. Seizures can be well-controlled using medications in...

2014

Monday, 13 October 2014
The Great Hall, Sydney University

Congratulations to all the recipients of 2014 Brain Foundation Research Gift Awards. In 2014 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.

Dystonia

2014

PROJECT SUMMARY: Dystonia is a disabling neurological condition that is relatively common. Primary dystonia has a prevalence of greater that...

Cerebral Diseases

2014

PROJECT SUMMARY: A common, life-threatening complication of stroke is cerebral oedema (brain swelling) and subsequent elevated intracranial pressure (ICP). Stroke...

Brain Tumours

2014

  Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and most deadly form of primary brain cancer. Most patients survive only...

Brain Tumours

2014

PROJECT SUMMARY: Glioblastoma (GBM) is a devastating primary brain cancer that affects around 800 Australians annually. Despite surgery, radiotherapy and...

Neuro-trauma Award

2014

PROJECT SUMMARY: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains one of the leading causes of death, disability, and hospitalization worldwide. TBI has...

Epilepsy

2014

PROJECT SUMMARY: Both neuropathic pain and epilepsy are common chronic disorders which result in significant morbidity to the sufferer, and...

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