05 May 2016
The Garvan Institute of Medical Research congratulates Dr Bryce Vissel, who has been appointed Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
At UTS, Dr Vissel will develop and lead a group of researchers to be recruited internationally, with a focus on establishing a world-class research effort in neuroscience and regenerative medicine. During the transition, he and his team will stay at Garvan until moving to UTS next year, where he will continue, develop and expand his research, while also maintaining collaborative research ties with Garvan.
Dr Vissel has had a long association with Garvan. After being awarded his PhD in medical genetics from the University of Melbourne in 1991, he joined Garvan’s Neuroscience Division. While at Garvan, he was awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council CJ Martin Fellowship to pursue cutting-edge neuroscience research with Professor Stephen Heinemann at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, USA.
He was to spend ten years at Salk, where he authored a number of seminal studies describing molecular mechanisms that regulate synaptic function and their role in behaviour and neurological diseases. During this time he also received several prestigious awards – a Human Frontiers Award (1996), a Fulbright Award (1998) and a Lieberman Award (2000).
In late 2002, Dr Vissel was recruited back to Garvan through the efforts of the then NSW Premier Bob Carr, taking up a position as Head of the Neurodegenerative Diseases group in the Neuroscience Division. His team’s work at Garvan since then has, among other things, provided new insights into synapse function, shown that the brain has far greater potential for regeneration and repair than previously thought, and led to new understandings of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease which have potential clinical implications.
Dr Vissel is also an important contributor to a number of organisations. He is Chair of the Advisory Board of Cellmid Ltd, a member of the Board of Parkinson’s NSW, and scientific advisor to Alzheimer’s Australia and SpinalCure Australia.
Dr Vissel says, “The opportunity to lead a major neuroscience and regenerative medicine initiative at UTS emerges from the success of my research at Garvan and Salk. These have been invigorating research environments.
“I am deeply grateful for the experiences and support that I have had that have led to this exciting new appointment. I expect to maintain good friendships and collaborations at Garvan, and for my team’s work here to affect disease outcomes.”
Executive Director of Garvan, Professor John Mattick AO, says, “Garvan creates research leaders – and we are pleased that Dr Vissel’s acheivements have been recognised and rewarded with this outstanding opportunity.
“Dr Vissel’s appointment to this new role will create exciting opportunities not only for Dr Vissel’s work but also for potential partnerships between Garvan and UTS directed toward advancing the health of Australians. We look forward to warm ongoing interactions with Professor Vissel and with UTS.”