Australian Brain Bank Appeal For Schizophrenia

Russell Crowe provides the voiceover in a TV advertisement for Australia’s largest ever “brain bank” research project, launched throughout Australia yesterday, May 1. The voiceover: “Your brain is so complex no one can mind can understand it. That’s why no one’s found a cure for schizophrenia. To solve it we’ll have to put our heads together. If you have schizophrenia we need 4000 volunteers to begin Australia’s largest ever brain research project. Together we’ll see the brain in a whole new light. Help us find the answer. Join the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank Call 1800 629 295.” The ad finishes with a link to

Head scanned in Brain Bank TV ad

Click on the image below to play the video.

Brain Bank Project

The ‘brain bank’ – initially to hold the brain-related data of 4,000 Australian volunteers both those with schizophrenia and without a mental illness – will be the largest schizophrenia research facility of its type in the world. Led by the Schizophrenia Research Institute (formerly the Neuroscience Institute of Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders), the $3.5 million project has brought together scientists from New South Wales, Victoria, West Australia, and Queensland.

Schizophrenia is a life-long disease and causes significant social and economic costs in addition to individual suffering – making it one of the world’s top 10 causes of long-term disability.

“One of the greatest challenges we have faced in schizophrenia research has been getting access to scientific data from a large enough sample of sufferers to be able to make statistically robust and reliable conclusions,” said Professor Vaughan Carr from Schizophrenia Research Institute.

“The new research bank will allow scientists to analyse vital genetic and brain information from schizophrenia sufferers on a scale never before possible.”

Faces joined in Brain Bank TV ad

The $3.5 million funding for the research project has come from the National Health and Medical Research Council, The Pratt Foundation, and the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund.

“This initiative is a great example of how the Government, corporate, philanthropic, research and the general community can work together for a solution,” Schizophrenia Research Institute Chair & Group Head, Macquarie Bank, Peter Maher said.

John Singleton and the Singleton Ogilvy & Mather group have donated their services for the campaign.

Face highlighted in Brain Bank TV ad