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$30 million boost to dementia research

The funding will ensure the establishment of a world-class facility that will accommodate significant growth in the area of dementia research. With this financial support realised, and the initial project design completed, work on this vital development can now move ahead immediately. The Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute (POWMRI) spearheaded the initiative and will lead the new strategic direction and development of the Precinct. Other stakeholders include the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Prince of Wales Hospital and the Black Dog Institute. POWMRIs Executive Director, Professor Peter Schofield said, "Neurological and psychiatric disorders of the brain and nervous system pose the largest health, economic and social burden to Australia." "Our future plans require a significant new investment into a purpose-built, world-class, research facility. Quality laboratory space and clinical research facilities are critical to attracting and supporting research excellence."

Crucial to the future success of the nations dementia research program is the recruitment of international leaders in the field leaders such as world renowned Clinical Neuroscientist, Professor John Hodges, currently MRC Professor of Behavioural Neurology at Cambridge University. The appointment of Professor Hodges is a joint initiative between UNSW and POWMRI. Professor Hodges, who will take up his UNSW professorial appointment based at POWMRI later this year, has proposed an innovative dementia research program that will substantially advance fundamental knowledge of cognitive processes. Importantly, his research program has a strong translational component through the development of improved methods for rehabilitation and health outcomes in patients.

Vice Chancellor of UNSW, Professor Fred Hilmer said, "We welcome the government's significant investment in what will be a world-class centre for research in this very important field. UN
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Contact: Anne Graham
a.graham@unsw.edu.au
61-293-991-077
Research Australia
8-May-2007


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