Creating a better quality of life for people with mental health conditions
Mental health is, without doubt, one of the biggest health challenges facing our society today.
There is a clear and pressing need to accelerate research into mental health conditions to improve the lives of people that live with them. We still don’t know enough about the biological basis for these brain disorders. This fundamental knowledge is key to achieving much-needed medical breakthroughs. This understanding is also pivotal for reducing the stigma and mystery around mental health conditions.
The Florey’s neuroscientists are working globally with research collaborators, clinical partners and hospitals to create a better quality of life for people living with mental health conditions.
There are many ways that science and research can contribute to The Florey’s overarching mission to create a better quality of life for people with mental health conditions. The focus areas of our mission utilise The Florey’s long-established expertise in fundamental brain biology, cutting-edge drug development and strong psychiatric and pharmacological networks and collaborations.
Accelerate our understanding of how the brain is impacted by mental health conditions
Build knowledge on the causes of schizophrenia and psychosis to develop new treatment options
Deepen our biological understanding of addiction and substance use disorder
Improve the quality and number of psychiatric treatments available to patients
Conditions covered in mental health
Sex differences modulating anxiety & binge drinking behaviours
Dr Leigh Walker is leading research into excessive alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders (AUD) in women. Despite the fact that AUD is a rising issue, sex has been largely ignored in preclinical research and drug development – we’re changing that.
Our key projects in this mission
Do the beneficial effects of exercise involve miRNA-mediated regulation of gene expression?
Emerging evidence suggests that microRNAs (miRNAs) contribute to the pathogenesis of stress-related disorders, including depression and anxiety.
Designing allosteric modulators of the neurotensin receptor 1 (NTS1) as potential drugs for schizophrenia
Neurotensin (NT) is a 13-residue peptide expressed in the central nervous (CNS) gastro-intestinal and cardiovascular systems.
Novel relaxin-3 mimetics for controlling feeding and motivated behaviour
Eating disorders and addictions, in particular obesity and excessive food consumption, are a major health concern in Australia and worldwide; and there is an urgent need to better and fully define the neurochemicals and neural circuits controlling motivated appetitive and consummatory behaviours.
Developing better treatments for mental illness: unravelling the molecular machinery at synapses to therapeutically target disruptions in complex behaviour and cognition
The Synapse Biology & Cognition Laboratory is focused on understanding the critical role synaptic molecules play in regulating connectivity in the brain that enables complex cognition and higher order processing in the healthy brain, and how these processes go awry in mental disorders.
Addiction Neuroscience Group
The Addiction Neuroscience Group studies how alcohol and other drugs change the brain's chemistry, structure and function.Learn more
Drug Discovery Innovation Group
We aim to reveal molecular mechanisms of GPCR function using various techniques such as structural biology, protein engineering, biochemistry, and pharmacology.Learn more
Epigenetics and Neural Plasticity Group
The Epigenetics and Neural Plasticity Group investigates gene-environment interactions and experience-dependent plasticity in the healthy and diseased brain.Learn more
Fluid Homeostasis Group
Our group specialises in the study of the neural circuitry underlying fluid homeostasis – how the brain regulates fluid balance and electrolyte concentrations to maintain a stable environment.Learn more
Genes Environment and Behaviour Group
We focus on understanding how stress and lifestyle factors impact behaviour and physiology via molecular & cellular changes in the brain and periphery.Learn more