The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health was created from the amalgamation of the Brain Research Institute, the Howard Florey Institute and the National Stroke Research Institute
Established by an Act of State Parliament in 1971, the Howard Florey Institute was named after Lord Howard Florey, the Australian Nobel laureate whose research work on penicillin continues to save millions of lives each year. It originally researched the control of salt and water balance in health and disease using sheep as experimental animals.
As the neuroscience knowledge explosion occurred in the 1990s, the Board made the strategic decision in 1997 to change the Institute’s focus to studying the brain. The Howard Florey Institute thus became Australia’s largest brain research institute, focusing on bench science and cellular approaches to the brain disorders that cause distress to millions of people around the world.
Directed by Professor Geoffrey Donnan, the National Stroke Research Institute (NSRI) was established in 1994 and located at the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre. To address the problem of stroke across its entire spectrum, NSRI conducts research in the field of stroke at the highest level in a vertically integrated fashion from basic science, through to epidemiology and public health.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world, and affects approximately 48,000 Australians every year. Australia is one of a number of countries undertaking major research studies into the causes and prevention of stroke. The NSRI plays a key role in national and international trials of treatment for stroke which so far, have greatly improved clinical therapy and services.
The Brain Research Institute was established by Professor Graeme Jackson at Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia in 1996, and performs internationally competitive research using advanced MRI technology into the structure and function of the human brain. Professor Jackson and his team are regarded as world leaders in epilepsy research and imaging. Australia’s first 3 Tesla (3T) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines are a mainstay of BRI’s research capability, opening up new and challenging areas of neuroscientific and biotechnical research.