The Foundation benefits from the commercial, business, medical, legal and research expertise provided by its directors, who govern the Foundation on a voluntary basis.
Professor Brian Dean
Professor Brian Dean is Head of the Molecular Psychiatry Laboratory at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in University of Melbourne Department of Psychiatry Florey and Mental Health, is a Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health Swinburne University and is Deputy Director of the Victorian Brain Bank Network. Professor Dean has published more than 250 papers and book chapters. These publications are mostly in the fields of biological psychiatry and neuropsychopharmacology which reflects a research focus of the pathologies of major psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorders and the mechanisms by which drugs act to lessen the symptoms of those disorders. Professor Dean is recognised both internationally and nationally and this is reflected in him being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (UK), the Treasurer of the CINP (the world neuropsychopharmacology society) and the Foundation President of Biological Psychiatry Australia, the national biological psychiatry society. Professor Dean has a long history with the Foundation, winning the first of his many grants from the Foundation in 1989. Professor Dean was Head of the Rebecca Cooper Research Laboratories at the Mental Health Research Institute from 1995 to 2011. Professor Brian Dean is also the current Chair of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee.In 2019 Brian received the Outstanding Basic Research Scientist Award from the Schizophrenia International Research Society, the Lundbeck Basic Science Award from the Asian College of Neuropsychopharmacology and the Isaac Schweitzer Award from Biological Psychiatry Australia. Brian had previously received the Lilly Oration Award from the Australian Society of Psychiatric Research and had presented the University of Melbourne Beattie Smith Lecture.
Appointed to the Board of Directors on 2 November 2009
Steven has qualifications in law, accounting and for 30 years practiced as a specialist Taxation advisor in a Chartered Accounting firm before commencing a new career as a High School Teacher. In a professional capacity, Steven assisted the Foundation with its successful appeal against the Australian Taxation Office, resulting in a significant outcome for the Foundation. Steven knew the late Rebecca Cooper and has been associated with the Foundation for most of his adult life. Steven is passionate about the Foundation fulfilling its mandate to fund medical research whilst preserving the unique culture which it has developed. Outside of work, Steven is an avid 4WD'er and enjoys rugby, skiing and the cinema. Appointed to the Board of Directors on 8 March 2012.
Dr Thomas Cromer
Tom is a Consultant Endocrinologist and is a Visiting Medical Officer at St Vincents
Hospital and Concord Hospital in Sydney. His interests are in diabetes, erectile
dysfunction and thyroid disease.
Tom is one of the founding directors of the Foundation
Sanjay Mehta joined the Foundation with over 30 years financial services experience. He has worked in chartered accounting, corporate banking, capital markets, corporate treasury management and financial planning. Sanjay graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Newcastle in 1981 and became a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1983. Through his technical knowledge, depth of experience and big picture perspective, Sanjay helps clients develop financial independence over the long term. He is motivated by the success his clients achieve.Appointed to the Board of Directors on 18 November 2013.
Patrick is the principal of O’Brien Legal, solicitors, and has acted as the Foundation's commercial and litigation lawyer for a number of years. Patrick has wide experience in a number of legal disciplines and has practised continuously as a solicitor in private practice since 1983. Patrick was successful in having an application launched by Woollahra Municipal Council to seize a parcel of the Foundation’s land in Paddington defeated in the Land and Environment Court of NSW in 2001.
Appointed to the Board of Directors on 2 November 2009
A Brief History
The Foundation was inaugurated on 13 January 1984 with the purpose of promoting, encouraging and advancing medical research in Australia. This has been achieved through the provision of over $22.1 million in grants, scholarships, fellowships, symposia and awards, to date.
The Foundation will continue to support Australian research that fundamentally and significantly benefits the world we live in by improving our understanding and treatment of diseases and conditions and which creates opportunities for less established researchers who show potential, to propel their careers and their research.
The Foundation's directors are dedicated to ensuring that the income stream of the Foundation continues to grow through reconfiguration and improvement of the property portfolio and the diversification of assets to ensure that these aims are met.
The Foundation also aims to build and maintain relationships it has within the medical research community and invites input from this community to help guide the Foundation’s future direction, funding decisions and improve its operations.
A Historical Snapshot
First funded Diabetes and Rheumatology research
First funded Arthritis and Schizophrenia research
First funded Lung Disease and Genetic research
Inaugural Leo Dintenfass Memorial Award to Dr Ilja Hulinsky
First funded Geriatric research
RLC Research Laboratories established
First PhD scholarship awarded, in the area of Schizophrenia research
PhD scholarship awarded in the field of Schizophrenia research
First funded Vision research
Inaugural Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation Medal to Dr Janette Burgess
Inaugural John & Eileen Haddon award to Christopher Raymond Murphy
Inaugural Kevin Cahill award to Professor Minas Coroneo
Inaugural Al & Val Rosenstrauss Fellowship awarded to Dr Graeme Polglase
Exceeded $1million in grants for the first time
Grants Advisory Commitee introduced to inform granting decisions
Fellowship Advisory Committee introduced to inform the award of the Al & Val Rosenstrauss fellowship
Project Grants Scheme
Inaugural Project Grants Scheme
First funded Dermatology research (excluding Skin Cancer)
Funding $3mil p.a.
Funding allocation doubled to $3 million per annum