Research excellence

Our awards and achievements

Past achievements

As leaders in brain research for over 50 years The Florey has seen many remarkable discoveries, advances and breakthroughs within our walls. Our teams have been on the forefront of research in conditions including dementia, epilepsy, stroke and anxiety – unravelling the mechanisms driving them and working to provide improved treatments.

The Florey was built upon the research of our founding Director, Professor Derek Denton – whose ground breaking discoveries, in particular those related to salt and water metabolism, have saved countless lives through real time assessment of body chemistry balance post-operatively and in trauma cases. These techniques later evolved into what is now known as intensive care.

Professor Derek Denton talks to colleague
Professor Derek Denton in conversation with colleague

More recently however, our achievements include an unexpected discovery about blood flow, with Florey researchers uncovering the previously unknown role of zinc in controlling blood vessels in the body. They found that vessels in the brain were more sensitive to zinc than in the rest of the body – paving the way to develop zinc-based treatments for neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

Florey researchers were also among the first in the world to warn of the long-term neurological impacts of COVID-19 – with the loss of smell associated with the virus setting off red flags for our Parkinson’s disease team. These same researchers continue to examine the potential link between COVID-19 and increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, working to develop more accurate diagnostic tools to identify neurodegeneration early on and a long-term monitoring approach for people who have been infected with the virus.

Two men sit pictured in front of microscopic images
Professor Scott Ayton and Dr Ashenafi Betrie following their zinc discovery

World-leading researchers

The success of The Florey is thanks to our hard-working and dedicated researchers. Their efforts have been recognised with both commonwealth and international honours, specialised awards within their fields, and community recognition and acclaim.

These honours and awards recognise the outstanding efforts and achievements of the individuals and teams who make up The Florey, celebrating the best minds in health and medical research.

Individual awards and careers highlights are listed on individual researcher pages.

Our researchers
Professor Julie Bernhardt stands holding an award between two colleagues at the world stroke congress event
Professor Julie Bernhardt (centre) receives the 2022 World Stroke Congress Barbro B Johansson award for excellence in stroke recovery.

Supporting the future of brain research

Through your generosity, The Florey works to find cures and better ways to tackle complex brain conditions. Your vital contribution enables our scientists to advance brain research, giving people with a brain or mental health condition an improved quality of life.

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