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New research facility for brain diseases

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A $54 million purpose-built brain research facility has opened in Sydney on the Prince of Wales Hospital Campus.

Leading medical research institution, Neuroscience Research Australia (NueRA), has developed the new facility, housed in the Margarete Ainsworth Building, as a centre for research on diseases that affect the brain and nervous system.

The building was named after Mrs Ainsworth, philanthropist, businesswoman and wife of gaming mogul Len Ainsworth, after she donated $10 million to the project – one of the largest such donations on record.

“I feel one must help where one can,” Mrs Ainsworth said. “I have always supported [research into] mental illness, as it is so terribly devastating to families.”

Although Mrs Ainsworth’s donation was substantial, it only covered a fraction of the cost of the new facility, and both the Federal and NSW governments, along with other organisations and philanthropists, contributed significant funds.

Five levels of the building are either entirely or partially completed, but the remaining two levels stand empty awaiting additional funding.

The first stage of the project has included two floors of wet labs, two floors of dry labs, an MRI scanner that will be used for clinical and research use, a 150-seat seminar room, large office areas and staff facilities.

Once the first stage is complete, NeuRa is hoping to develop their facility further by incorporating a state-of-the-art sleep lab.

The goal is to increase Australia’s ability to achieve world-class research of diseases affecting the brain and nervous system.

NueRa has also received donations from the Federal and State Governments.

Sanja Novakovic