About Professor Richard Banati

Professor Richard Banati is an internationally recognized scientist with interdisciplinary research interests in the brains innate immune system and the development of advanced medical imaging for the non-invasive study of brain function. Since 2008, Professor Banati holds an ANSTO Distinguished Researcher Fellowship in a cross-institutional life sciences team that has unique access to a range of methodologies, including life cell imaging, impedance spectrometry, quartz crystal microbalance measures, and protein structure analysis by x-ray and neutron-based techniques.

Richard Banati is Professor and Foundation Chair of Medical Radiation Sciences at the University of Sydney, Director of the Ramaciotti Centre for Brain Imaging at the Brain & Mind Research Institute (BMRI) and Director University of Sydney node of the National Imaging Facility. His early scientific career commenced at the Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry (Neurobiology) in Munich, Germany. Prior to taking up his current post at the University of Sydney in January 2004, he was Principal Fellow in the Department of Neuropathology, Imperial College and MRC-Cyclotron Unit, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, London. His work is highly cited and published in specialist journals as well as high-impact multi-disciplinary journals, such as The Lancet, Annals of Neurology and Brain. The research of Professor Banati and his colleagues has received recognition through the bi-annual Award of the German league for Research into Alzheimer's Disease, Award for Interdisciplinary Research of Society for Radiation Research (Gesellschaft fur Strahlenforschung GSF, Munich), The New Frontiers in Science Presentation 1998 at The Royal Society (London), and the 2003 JSPS Professorial Award by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Since 2008 Professor Banati has an ANSTO Distinguished Researcher Fellowship.

Professor Richard Banati has a long-standing interest in the role of non-neuronal (glial) cells in the progression of neurodegenerative and neoplastic brain disease, particularly the role of glia in overtly normal brain tissue. More recently, his research has focused on the development of new in vivo imaging probes for non-neuronal cells and the methodological issues that arise from it. Ultimate goal of this research to improve our understanding of how glial cells regulate brain function and how glial pathways can furnish biomarkers of brain disease and therapeutic efficacy.

For further information, please see Prof Banati's staff profile -

Selected publications

  • Cagnin A, Taylor-Robinson SD, Forton DM, Banati RB. In vivo imaging of cerebral "peripheral benzodiazepine binding sites" in patients with hepatic encephalopathy. Gut. 2006 Apr;55(4):547-53. Epub 2005 Oct 6. PubMedId: 16210399
  • Meikle SR, Kench P, Kassiou M, Banati RB. Small animal SPECT and its place in the matrix of molecular imagingtechnologies. Phys Med Biol. 2005 Nov 21;50(22):R45-61. Epub 2005 Oct 24. Review. PubMedId: 16264248
  • Kassiou M, Meikle SR, Banati RB. Ligands for peripheral benzodiazepine binding sites in glial cells. Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 2005 Apr;48(2):207-10. Epub 2005 Jan 22. Review. PubMedId: 15850659
  • Banati RB, Egensperger R, Maassen A, Hager G, Kreutzberg GW, Graeber MB. Mitochondria in activated microglia in vitro. J Neurocytol. 2004 Sep;33(5):535-41. PubMedId: 15906160
  • Raivich G, Banati R. Brain microglia and blood-derived macrophages: molecular profiles and functional roles in multiple sclerosis and animal models of autoimmune demyelinating disease. Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 2004 Nov;46(3):261-81. Review. PubMedId: 15571769
  • Cagnin A, Rossor M, Sampson EL, Mackinnon T, Banati RB. In vivo detection of microglial activation in frontotemporal dementia. Ann Neurol. 2004 Dec;56(6):894-7. PubMedId: 15562429
  • Banati RB. Neuropathological imaging: in vivo detection of glial activation as a measure of disease and adaptive change in the brain. Br Med Bull. 2003;65:121-31. Review. PubMedId: 12697620
  • Banati RB. Visualising microglial activation in vivo. Glia. 2002 Nov;40(2):206-17. Review PubMedId: 12379908
  • Cagnin A, Brooks DJ, Kennedy AM, Gunn RN, Myers R, Turkheimer FE, Jones T, Banati RB. In-vivo measurement of activated microglia in dementia. Lancet. 2001 Aug 11;358(9280):461-7. Erratum in: Lancet. 2001 Sep1;358(9283):766. PubMedId: 11513911
  • Banati RB, Newcombe J, Gunn RN, Cagnin A, Turkheimer F, Heppner F, Price G, Wegner F, Giovannoni G, Miller DH, Perkin GD, Smith T, Hewson AK, Bydder G, Kreutzberg GW, Jones T, Cuzner ML, Myers R. The peripheral benzodiazepine binding site in the brain in multiple sclerosis: quantitative in vivo imaging of microglia as a measure of disease activity. Brain. 2000 Nov;123 ( Pt 11):2321-37. PubMedId: 11050032