Florey News

Lucy Palmer awarded prestigious Viertel Fellowship


Dr Lucy Palmer has been awarded a prestigious $1.225M Senior Medical Research Fellowship by the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation.

Last year the Viertel Foundation demonstrated its commitment to encouraging excellence and gender equality in the fields of medical and scientific research with the decision to award a Fellowship to one male, and one female researcher each year.

Each Fellow will receive $1.225 million ($245,000 per year for five years) to undertake leading-edge research in their area of expertise, making it the most prestigious mid-career medical research award in Australia.

Lucy's research aims to tease apart the inner workings of our brain's basic wiring circuitry, looking at how we make everyday decisions by integrating the information presented to our brain by our senses.

We commonly ask ourselves ‘why did I choose to do that?’ and scientifically speaking, the answer is ‘we don’t know’.

Although we make thousands of decisions throughout the day, what happens in the brain during these thoughts and how we are able to rationalise decisions is largely unknown. Dr Palmer will investigate the activity within different brain regions during the process of making a decision.

These experiments will reveal the brain function during decision-making leading to a greater understanding of why people make certain decisions. Impaired decision-making costs the Australian public millions of dollars each year as bad decisions can lead to a lifetime of drug-dependency, jail, or even loss of life.

Furthermore, these results will also greatly benefit the Australian community by helping us in understanding many diseases of the brain where decision-making is impaired, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression and schizophrenia.

Media enquiries:

Dr Tom Keeble

0400 764 084

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