SAHMRI announces inaugural Bellberry Mind and Brain Research Fellow

29 Oct 2014
SAHMRI announces inaugural Bellberry Mind and Brain Research Fellow

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute's (SAHMRI) Mind and Brain Theme Leader, Professor Julio Licinio, is pleased to announce the recipient of the inaugural Bellberry Mind and Brain Fellowship.

This unique position, newly created with philanthropic support from Bellberry, will be based within the Mind and Brain research theme at SAHMRI in Adelaide, South Australia.

The recipient of the Fellowship is Dr Michael Musker, who joins SAHMRI from the Forensic Mental Health Service in South Australia. He is originally from the UK where he trained as a Mental Health Nurse. He also holds a BA in Health Studies (Liverpool), an MSc in Health Promotion, Research and Policy Change (Liverpool) and recently completed his PhD in Forensic Mental Health (Adelaide) with Professor Alexander McFarlane, a world-renowned leader in the field of psychiatry.

Professor Licinio said that SAHMRI will benefit greatly from Dr Musker’s appointment.

“We are delighted to have this generous level of support from Bellberry, allowing us to launch a highly innovative project on gene-environment interactions, that uses advanced genomics and social media to reach large numbers of consumers,” Professor Licinio said.

“The Bellberry Fellowship will support Dr Musker, who recently obtained a PhD from the University of Adelaide, to spearhead such an exciting area of research. This creative new type of partnership will greatly advance research in SAHMRI's Mind and Brain Theme”.

The work to be conducted by Dr Musker during his Bellberry Research Fellowship is, to SAHMRI’s knowledge, the first approach to use the genomics of obesity to identify genetic risk for depression and to stratify response to online e-health interventions for depression and obesity, in order to provide the evidence for targeted treatment.

Ms Kylie Sproston, Chief Executive of Bellberry Limited, said that Bellberry is thrilled to be working with SAHMRI.

“Today, it would be difficult to find an Australian family that has not been affected by brain disorders, either in the realm of psychiatry or neurology. Moving forward, it is critical for South Australia, and consequently for SAHMRI, to have a vigorous and highly productive program that will advance and integrate mind and brain research across the state.

“We are very proud to be supporting this cause, and would like to congratulate Dr Musker on his appointment,” Ms Sproston said.

Bellberry Limited became a leading Corporate Champion in December 2013, thanks to a $200,000 donation as part of their commitment to supporting health and medical research at SAHMRI.

About Bellberry Limited

Bellberry Limited is a national, private not-for-profit organisation providing streamlined scientific and ethical review of human research projects across Australia. Bellberry’s aim is to promote and improve the welfare of research participants and the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of research. As a not for profit company, Bellberry donates surplus funds back into the research community.