Centre for Brain Research

Message from the directors

"Rangahau te Roro me te Hinengaro" Our Te Reo Māori name translates as 'weaving together our collective wisdom and knowledge of the brain'.

It's a message in a name; one that inspires our development and progress as a centre. By working together, the centre promises much for brain research at the University, for clinical care in our hospitals and for enhanced treatment for people affected by brain disease.

It's estimated that one in five New Zealanders will suffer from brain disease in their lifetimes. Disorders such as stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and deafness affect hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders every year. Neurological diseases are among the top five most common causes of death and long-term disability. The cost to families and society, both financially and socially, is enormous.

That's where the breadth and scope of the three pillars of the centre will prove invaluable; our unique partnership between scientists, doctors and the community. Our combined, complementary expertise and knowledge will be a powerful force to address the challenges of neurological disease.

The centre excels in the world class neuroscience research carried out by the 70 plus research groups in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences and the Faculty of Science within The University of Auckland; combined with the leading neurologists, neurosurgeons and physicians in the Auckland region; and community organisations supporting research and people affected by brain disease. We are world-leaders in human brain tissue research thanks to the resources of the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand Human Brain Bank. We aim to develop the centre as a cornerstone of research excellence, to better understand the origins of brain disease and to translate this exciting science into better treatments for the benefit of people and families affected by brain disease.

The partnership between the University and hospitals will facilitate unique educational opportunities with research training for the doctors of tomorrow and promote a clinical focus for our emerging neuroscientists. This collaborative team approach will generate a wealth of knowledge and enable the University and our hospitals to expand their international standing in neuroscience and clinical care.

Understanding the brain is the last frontier of medical research and one of the most challenging areas in medicine. By unlocking the secrets of the brain we learn more about ourselves, who we are, and our future.

Sir Richard Faull, KNZM, FRSNZ, BMedSc, MB, ChB, PhD, DSc
University Distinguished Professor,
Director, Centre for Brain Research.

Professor Alan Barber PhD, MBChB, FRACP
Deputy-Director, Clinical.