Brain research, patient with doctor
Centres and institutes_

About the centre

Visionary research solving global health challenges
Leading generational change for disorders of the brain and mind.

The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre is a network of researchers and clinicians who partner across borders and disciplines in pursuit of a common goal: to develop better treatments for conditions of the brain and mind and improve health outcomes now and for future generations.

Our multidisciplinary research teams are at the forefront of brain and mind sciences. We ask big questions to find answers for some of the world's greatest health challenges, including:

Disorders of the brain and mind are the greatest health challenges we face in the 21st century. These diseases are devastating for those affected, their families and society, and threaten the social and economic participation of people of all ages across the globe.

The Brain and Mind Centre provides the physical infrastructure, technology, the collegial environment, and support required to facilitate opportunities for innovative research programs.

Our partnerships extend throughout the University of Sydney, other research institutes, Local Health Districts, government, and industry.

We translate research into clinical programs and integrate it with an interdisciplinary education program that will nurture tomorrow’s researchers and clinicians.

Meet our executive team

The Brain and Mind Centre Co-Directors, Professor Ian Hickie AM and Professor Matthew Kiernan, work together to lead innovative research into understanding and treating conditions across childhood, youth and ageing.

Professor Ian Hickie AO, Co-Director, Health and Policy

Professor Ian Hickie AO is an internationally renowned researcher in clinical psychiatry and a leading voice on mental health issues. He was an inaugural Commissioner on Australia’s National Mental Health Commission (2012-18), overseeing enhanced accountability for mental health reform in Australia. Professor Hickie was a founding director of headspace, which provides support for young people, and the inaugural chief executive of beyondblue, a non-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and suicide.

"Not only are we changing the way we do health and medical research here at the University of Sydney, we are changing the way we do population health, health services innovation, public policy impact and workforce education in a 21st-century society." Professor Ian Hickie AO

Professor Kathryn Refshauge OAM, Co-Director, 

Professor Kathryn Refshauge OAM has extensive experience in education and research excellence, as well as academic and health leadership. Examples of her leadership roles include Head of School Physiotherapy, Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences, chair of South West Sydney Research (NSW health research hub) and inaugural member of the Clinical Council of Central and Eastern Sydney PHN. 

For several years she was deputy chair of the Australian Council of Deans of Health Sciences.  She has held many roles on editorial boards of international journals and ethics committees and continues her work as a non-executive director on many education, professional and NGO boards.  She has received several awards for professional contributions, and educational and research excellence.

"The BMC inspires the research and healthcare community internationally.  Unlike in other research institutes, research is conducted across the full span of basic to clinical and community research, in addition to driving the policy agenda.  This bench-to-community approach has a rapid and real-world impact, transforming care and prevention for illnesses affecting the brain and mind." Professor Kathy Refshauge OAM. 

Tegan Cox, Chief Operating Officer

Tegan Cox is the Chief Operating Officer at the Brain and Mind Centre and leads the implementation of strategic and operational research plans both locally and across the wider University. Tegan brings a strong background in clinical research management, health service leadership and management consulting. With a passion for person-centred care and innovative models of health service delivery, Tegan also brings skills in clinical redesign and design thinking.

Our Network

Brain and Mind Centre researchers form a virtual network of academics across the University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Nepean Hospital, Royal North Shore Hospital, Kolling Institute, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Sydney Adventist Hospital, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the Sydney Local Health District.

These visionary research teams partner with the community, industry, government and diverse branches of academia to make a real difference to people’s lives.

Our large-scale research is collaborative and innovative, our laboratories are state of the art and our clinics are a valuable resource for people in need. Read more about our partners and connections.