Prof Chris Rowe


Professor Chris Rowe

Professor Chris Rowe to lead new Australian Dementia Network

NHMRC awards $18 million to establish ADNeT - single largest grant ever given in Australia for dementia research

Monday 2 July 2018

Congratulations to Austin Health’s Professor Christopher Rowe for his appointment as Chief Investigator on the Australian Dementia Network (ADNet).

The Federal Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has announced $18 million this morning to establish ADNet - a research program which will bring dementia researchers, clinicians, health service providers and industry together with people living with dementia to develop a national dementia registry and research program.

The NHMRC’s $18 million grant to establish ADNet is the largest single grant ever given in Australia for dementia research. Additional financial support to come from philanthropic organisations, industry, universities, research institutes and state governments is expected to more than double the Federal Government’s contribution, to a total of $40 million.

Professor Rowe, who is Austin Health’s Director of Molecular Imaging Research says that funding for ADNet “means better access to advanced diagnostic methods nationwide and faster development of effective therapies to prevent and treat dementia.”

“Australia is a world leader in the development of and application of scans to detect Alzheimer’s disease and assist with clinical trials,” says Prof Rowe, who is a world leader in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia.

Prof. Rowe’s team at Austin Health has published over 150 papers in the last 15 years. Prof. Rowe and Austin Health colleague Professor Victor Villemagneare two of only three Australians in the list of the top 1 per cent of highly cited researchers in neuroscience world-wide.

Austin Health CEO Sue Shilbury said the Austin Health executive and board are incredibly proud of Prof Rowe’s appointment.

“Professor Rowe is a world-leader in the field of imaging Alzheimer’s disease. He introduced amyloid PET imaging into Australia in 2004 and he and his team at Austin Health apply state-of-the-art neuroimaging technology to develop new tests and biomarkers and support early intervention clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease.,” Ms Shilbury said.

"His influence in the field is such that he is in the “Highly Cited’’ list of the top one per cent of scientists by citations world-wide.”

ADNet will:

  • Bring together 23 of Australia's leaders in dementia research, and over 15 universities, institutes and hospitals across Australia.
  • Slash the time it takes to recruit participants for clinical trials - which currently takes an average of 3 years - by having 4000 individuals with or at high risk of dementia ready for participation.
  • Track, benchmark and report on the quality of clinical care of those with dementia, supporting the program’s research participants through the life course and producing valuable data sets that will improve understanding of what causes dementia, how it progresses, risks, opportunities for new treatments, and quality care. 
  • Establish a national network of memory clinics to better assess cognitive disorders and improve specialist access for all Australians. 
  • Prepare willing Australians for participation in clinical trials and other research programs, by providing them with state-of-the-art diagnosis and tracking their disease trajectory over time.
  • Ensure Australian and international data are able to be shared, providing unprecedented research access to large scale data sets that can inform prevention, treatment and care.