2015 Lifetime Achievement Award: Professor Perry Bartlett

Research Australia
Health & Medical Research Awards

2015 Cook Medical Lifetime Achievement Award

The Research Australia Cook Medical Lifetime Achievement Award honours a significant lifetime commitment to supporting and promoting health and medical research

Award Winner

Professor Perry Bartlett, FAA
Professor Of Molecular Neuroscience
Queensland Brain Institute

Professor Perry Bartlett is the founding director of the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at The University of Queensland and is an internationally-renowned neuroscientist doing ground-breaking research into the fundamental mechanisms that underpin brain function.

During his 30-year career, his research and discoveries have overturned existing dogma and led to new understanding, particularly in the areas of neuronal precursor regulation and neuron survival in the developing and adult nervous system. Most prominent among these has been his pioneering role in the discovery and characterisation of neuron-producing stem cells in the adult brain, which has resulted in an entirely new view of the adult brain’s restorative capacity and, more importantly, to the realisation that cognitive functions such as learning and memory appear to be regulated, at least in part, by the production of new neurons. This is leading to the development of new therapeutic strategies to stimulate functional recovery following stroke, ageing dementia and depression. This is of vital importance as the Australian community confronts the growing social and economic cost of neurological and mental health conditions, which account for almost 50 per cent of this nation’s burden of disease.

Professor Bartlett has published more than 240 papers, many of which have appeared in the world’s most influential journals and have attracted more than 13,000 citations and an h-index of 60. One of the most remarkable aspects of Professor Bartlett’s career has been his ability to correctly identify new mechanisms and concepts even though they appear to contradict the prevailing view. This speaks to an intellectual prescience and experimental ingenuity possessed by only a few scientists.

One of the cornerstones of Professor Bartlett’s career is the building of QBI in 2003. Since then he has grown the Institute from a fledgling operation with several of the world’s best neuroscientists to an international research hub with 500 staff dedicated to to finding out more about debilitating diseases of the brain. Beyond that, his achievements in neuroscience research and neuroscience leadership have been recognised with several prestigious awards.

This year he received the CSL Florey Medal and Prize, for significant achievements in biomedical science and the advancement of human health, which has been awarded just seven times since its inception in 1988. Previous winners include Professor Barry Marshall, Professor Jacques Miller and Professor Ian Frazer. He was also recently awarded the Australian Neuroscience Society’s Distinguished Achievement Award for an outstanding contribution to neuroscience in Australian and New Zealand, which has just six prior recipients since its inception in 1993.

Research Australia Events

2016 Research Australia
Health & Medical Research Awards

The 14th annual Research Australia Health and Medical Research Awards honoured some of the country’s top minds and big hearts for their incredible contribution to health and medical research in Australia.

Research Australia is proud to have had such an extraordinary night with incredible researchers who have distinguished themselves in their careers, be it early stage, mid career or through a lifelong commitment to HMR.

It is with great pleasure that we present the 2016 winners of the Research Australia Awards :



Recognises an Australian who has made an outstanding contribution to building Australia’s international reputation in the area of health and medical research, and fostering collaboration for better health.

Awarded to: Professor Ian Gust AO


Recognises an Australian from the media, a celebrity or member of the community who has raised community awareness about the benefits of health and medical research.

Awarded to: Brenda King, SIDS Stampede


Griffith logoRecognises an early researcher (no more than five years post PhD) whose paper/patent/discovery has already demonstrated its importance or impact.

Awarded to: Dr Rebecca Coll

Highly Commended: Dr Felicity Davis and Dr Michael Livingston


To recognise and encourage personal philanthropic donations over a period of time by an individual or family to health and medical research.

Awarded to: The McCusker Charitable Foundation


For the development of the most innovative method of gathering, making available, processing or interpreting data in a way that advances the sector.

Awarded to: Capital Markets CRC, Health Market Quality Team

Highly Commended: The National Breast Cancer Foundation and DreamLab (Vodafone and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research)


Recognises outstanding leadership by a corporation or business giving to and supporting health and medical research through relationships or partnership and commitment over time.

Awarded to: Volvo Car Australia


Created in 2014 to recognise the importance of the emerging field of health service research.

Awarded to: Professor Michael Barton OAM



With its accompanying grant of $80,000, has played a part in assisting some of Australia’s most important leaders and innovators in the medical research sphere. Its focus is on helping support career development with an emphasis on human health and Australian research.

Awarded to: Professor Prof Arthur Christopolous & Patrick Sexton


Previous Research Australia Health & Medical Research Award Winners

Some of the 2016 Award Nominees and their stories