Centre for Brain Research

Our Vision

Working together to improve lives


Synergistic and collaborative approach to neuroscience

It is estimated that one in five New Zealanders will suffer from brain disease in their lifetime.  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.

The Centre for Brain Research brings together expert scientists, skilled clinicians, students and dedicated community groups. The overall goal of the Centre is to find and develop new treatments for brain disease through a complete understanding of every physiological and functional aspect of this organ. Critical to the success of the centre is to generate findings that influence and shape New Zealand’s healthcare model and policy.

About us 

The Center for Brain Research exists to increase our understanding of the brain, including the development of new treatments for brain disease. At the heart of our Centre are 68 teams and approximately 400 researchers from several schools across the University of Auckland, one of the top-ranked universities in the world, and is internationally recognised for its neuroscience research. Our synergistic and collaborative approach to research seeks to produce and translate novel findings from the laboratory through to the clinic and the patients.

The combined strengths of our scientific, clinical and community pillars will provide a platform for success. The Neurology and Neurosurgical Departments in Auckland are amongst the largest in Australasia. Doctors from Auckland District Health Board, working in partnership with other expert clinicians from Auckland and Northland DHBs, provide care for over a third of New Zealand’s population.

Our Centre is very fortunate to receive vital support – in many forms – from our wider community, having established meaningful partnerships within the non-profit, governmental, collegiate and private sectors. We are especially grateful to the donors and their families, whose unyielding generosity facilitates our discoveries. Local and national non-governmental organisations (NGOs) offer a rich network of support groups, rendering invaluable assistance to people and their whānau living with neurological disease.

Scientists, doctors and community specialists work at every level; from the laboratory to the clinic to whānau and community. By working together we will provide a brighter future for people and families with brain disease.

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. Our discoveries have the potential to change the lives of people living with neurological disease.


Our vision
(1.5 MB, PDF)

Our six areas of engagement



Unlock the secrets of the brain

  • Build on our world-class research, national and international collaborations through multi-disciplinary studies on the brain, from the gene to the cell to the mind
  • Utilise advanced scientific technologies including the invaluable resources of the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand Human Brain Bank


Develop new therapies

  • Translate our research from the laboratory to the clinic to improve the lives of people with brain diseases
  • Expand and develop our ongoing clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease, Stroke, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Motor Neurone Disease and others currently in development


Improve clinical care

  • Advance standards of patient care through improved diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and health services


Train scientists and clinicians

  • Create a culture change in training where there is a clinical focus in the laboratory and a research focus in the clinic and community


Engage with our community

  • Work in partnership with community NGOs to ensure we address the needs of people and their families affected by brain disease
  • Empower the community to share their knowledge and expertise to advance our research and clinical care for the common good


Educate and inform

  • Influence health policy through active local and national engagement
  • Disseminate our findings to the international scientific and clinical communities by publishing in top-ranked journals and addressing international forums
  • Inform the community through the media and active educational programmes