Future leaders in schizophrenia research

NeuRA is so fortunate to have many energetic PhD students working in the schizophrenia laboratory. These young men and women have chosen to dedicate their studies to schizophrenia research, and every day bring an enthusiasm that is contagious.

To grow tomorrow’s leaders, we have a responsibility to nurture young researchers toward independence today. Their learning includes helping turn discoveries into scientific papers and eventually into meaningful improvements for people living with schizophrenia.

But because of the loss of a significant funding partner, their future is very uncertain.

We need your help to keep these researchers investing their talents into schizophrenia research, to aid in their mentoring, and to maintain our exciting momentum.

You can help. With the end of the financial year only weeks away, would you please give a gift today?

I invite you to read the full story below and the story of Eva, whose daughter and mother both lived with the disease (click here for her story). Please consider supporting schizophrenia research at NeuRA. Perhaps you would like to become a NeuRA Discovery Partner and enjoy the simplicity of monthly giving, knowing you are providing even greater certainty to confidently plan for tomorrow.

Together, we will defeat schizophrenia.

The progress we’ve made to date could be eroded.

Researching schizophrenia is not easy. The human brain with its billions of neurons is a complicated organ, and it is one of the last frontiers to be tackled in medicine.

After ten years of schizophrenia research in Sydney, our research has changed direction dramatically. We’ve moved away from focusing on brain development into focusing on neuroimmunology, and right now we are at a pivotal moment in the movement to find ways to cure schizophrenia.

Our laboratory findings have led to some incredible advancements, including the discovery of an inflammatory component to the changes occurring in the brain of people with schizophrenia. This is important as it suggests new targets to aim our treatments towards and suggests a pathology that we should be able to reverse… and allow the human brain time to heal itself. We are readily able to translate our discoveries into clinical trials as we have a proven track record for repurposing available drugs to better treat those with chronic schizophrenia. We found cognitive benefits with our SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator) treatment in clinical trials, proving that we can restore brain function to those who have been suffering with schizophrenia for years.

Thus, we are well positioned to test the abilities of these anti-inflammatories and SERM treatments for more people with schizophrenia and in real world settings.

The major difficulty that I am facing now is the loss of significant funding.

Without your support, the progress we’ve made to date could be halted and begin to be eroded.

My husband Associate Professor Tom Weickert and I are so fortunate to have 12 energetic PhD students working in the schizophrenia laboratory. These young men and women have chosen to dedicate their studies to schizophrenia research, and every day bring an enthusiasm that is contagious. They contribute fresh ideas, making for a healthy environment to learn and discover. I have a responsibility to nurture and grow these young researchers toward independence, and they have a responsibility to help turn discoveries into scientific papers and eventually into meaningful improvements for people living with schizophrenia.

Frankly though, their future is uncertain.

We need your help to keep these researchers investing their talents into schizophrenia research, to aid in their mentoring, and to maintain our exciting momentum.

Without your support, implementing our laboratory findings into the clinical, real world setting becomes very challenging.

When research gets ‘stuck in a drawer’ and doesn’t make a real, tangible and lifelong difference to the lives of people living with schizophrenia, it is a tragedy. To make sure this doesn’t happen, we need to employ Senior Researchers who can lead complex projects, and mentor our brilliant young minds, those who with the right leadership, will one day confidently lead their own teams, and build upon today’s understanding and treatment of schizophrenia.

You can help. With the end of the financial year only weeks away, would you please give a gift today?

We know the stigma of schizophrenia runs deep in our communities… it is a highly misunderstood condition. This stigma Eva knows only too well. Eva has a unique story – she is the daughter of and the mother to women whose lives have been forever changed by schizophrenia. You can read her journey here, or via the link at the end of this page. .

It is my life’s work is to defeat schizophrenia and help those currently living with the condition to build friendships, careers, and have a chance at a more normal life. We desperately want to turn our exciting laboratory discoveries into practical advantages for people with schizophrenia.

Doing this would be my dream come true, and I think it’s within reach.

You can help make this a reality, with your gift. Or perhaps you would like to become a NeuRA Discovery Partner and enjoy the simplicity of monthly giving, knowing you are providing even greater certainty to confidently plan for tomorrow.

I hope that you share this dream with me, and that you can help in any way.

On behalf of all our team here at NeuRA, I thank you for your support.

Together, we will defeat schizophrenia.

Cyndi Shannon Weickert

Chair of Schizophrenia Research, NeuRA

Professor, School of Psychiatry, UNSW

P.S. All gifts are fully tax deductible.