19 November 2019

Brain Champion national campaign

Dr Alex Tang, a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Brain Plasticity Research group at the Perron Institute is encouraging people to become a “Brain Champion” to support future neuroscience funding. The national campaign is an initiative of the Australian Brain Alliance (ABA).

The ABA was established in 2016 as an initiative of the Australian Academy of Science with a vision to coordinate and boost strategic brain research across Australia. The ABA’s goal is to lead paradigm-changing research into the brain and its disorders, in collaboration with global brain initiatives.

Dr Tang is a Steering Committee member of the Brain Science Network, a part of the ABA specifically for early and mid-career researchers. The ABA is negotiating with the Federal Government for more neuroscience funding. To build support and strengthen its case, the ABA is encouraging anyone connected to or passionate about neuroscience research, including researchers, family members and friends to sign up and become a “Brain Champion”.

The process is simple and involves providing your name, email address and postcode. A letter will then be sent to your local government authority stating there is a person in the community who finds neuroscience research to be important. If you are interested, click on the following link and sign up: https://www.brainalliance.org.au/join-us/

The ABA will take the evidence of people’s expressed interest in neuroscience to Parliament House in Canberra.

Elizabeth Jaeschke-Angi, a neuroscience student at The University of Western Australia first heard about the initiative when it was mentioned at the WA Symposium of Neuroscience in September. The national campaign immediately sparked her interest as she is currently doing her undergraduate degree in neuroscience with future hopes of undertaking a PhD and becoming a researcher.

Liz’s family members spread across Western Australia have been happy to sign up.

“I told them by supporting any future funding initiatives in neuroscience, they are supporting me. It also helped that it was a quick and easy process,” Liz Jaeschke-Angi said.

Liz worked full time for 18 years before becoming a mature age student.

“I packed up my life in Jurien Bay and moved to Nedlands to live my neuroscience dream.

There is nothing in this world more exciting to me than the idea of exploring and learning about the most amazing and complicated thing on this planet, the brain. I want to be able to contribute to answering the unknown questions.

“I have realised along the way that neuroscience is so much bigger and broader than I had ever imagined, so I am remaining open-minded about the possibilities that lie ahead.”