History

The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health is one of the world's top 10 brain research centres. The organisation is the result of four medical research institutes uniting to find cures for brain disease.


Fred Mendelsohn

The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health (The Florey) is the largest brain research group in the Southern Hemisphere and is one of the world’s top 10 brain research centres. The Florey is located in two state-of-the-art research facilities, one at the University of Melbourne in Parkville and the other at the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg.


The Institute is named to honour Professor Howard Florey who was an Australian pharmacologist and pathologist and is regarded by the Australian scientific and medical community as one of its greatest scientists. Howard Florey shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Sir Ernst Boris Chain and Sir Alexander Fleming for his role in the making of penicillin. Fleming first observed the antibiotic properties of the mould that makes penicillin, but it was Chain and Florey who developed it into a useful treatment ,with Florey conducting the first ever clinical trials of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford in 1941.

Now focussed on neuroscience, the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health is an amalgam of the Howard Florey Institute, the Mental Health Research Institute, the National Stroke Research Institute and the Brain Research Institute and is focussed on finding cures for brain disease.
Our teams work on a range of serious diseases including stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, motor neurone disease, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, depression, schizophrenia, mental illness and addiction.  We are world leaders in imaging technology, stroke rehabilitation and epidemiological studies.  

Over the past 10 years research into the brain and its diseases has gained considerable momentum internationally.  Many scientific and technological advancements have been made, and much of our work has been centre stage.  Our scientific home is a hive of activity with researchers coming from around the globe to work at the Florey.