In a significant step towards improving the understanding and treatment of mental health among ex-service personnel and the wider community, GMRF has welcomed Associate Professor Luke Johnson to the new role of Associate Director of Mental Health Research.

As the Associate Director of Mental Health Research at GMRF, A/Prof Johnson will lead the Veteran Mental Health Research team, which plays a key role in contributing to the growing understanding of the mental and physical health challenges faced by ex-service personnel.

“Our multidisciplinary academic research team continues to focus on research that will have a real and lasting impact by enhancing the health and wellbeing of veterans and their families, and we welcome A/Prof Johnson’s experience and guidance in this endeavour,” said Ms Miriam Dwyer.

About Associate Professor Johnson

A/Prof Johnson obtained his PhD (Neurobiology and Neurosciences) from the University of Oxford. He holds an MSc in Neuroscience from London Guildhall University and a BA in Psychological Science from Monash University.

With a significant research track record over more than 20 years, A/Prof Johnson has held postdoctoral and academic positions at Yale University, New York University and Uniformed Services University School of Medicine in Maryland, USA. Most recently, A/Prof Johnson has held professional appointments at the Translational Research Institute Australia (TRI) and the University of Tasmania.

A/Prof Johnson has also worked with the US military and veteran community at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in Bethesda and continues this and other national and international collaborations.

A/Prof Johnson is a research specialist in memory, fear, stress and PTSD, and as an experienced translational neuroscientist and research leader, his research work to date includes:

  • fundamental and translational research in brain memory systems
  • development of new drug strategies
  • neuroanatomy
  • electrophysiology
  • neuropharmacology
  • pharmacology
  • cell and molecular biology
  • in vivo and in vitro preclinical neuroscience
  • behavioural neuroscience, statistics, meta-analysis, implementation research
  • clinical research

Having supervised over 70 individuals, including Postdocs, PhD, Masters and Honours, A/Prof Johnson has a key passion to support students.

“We are proud to help facilitate the growth of Australia’s next generation of researchers and we very much look forward to enhancing and strengthening our student-based research opportunities through the wealth of experience that A/Prof Johnson brings to GMRF,” said Ms Dwyer.

Our Veteran Mental Health Research

Our research centres on an understanding that there are both psychological and physical impacts of military service on those who serve in the defence of our country, as well as their families.

Under the Veteran Health Initiative, and in partnership with RSL Queensland, our Veteran Mental Health Research team focus on four key areas to create evidence-based real-world solutions aimed at enhancing the quality of life for veterans and their families:

  • Transition and Reintegration – From Service to Civilian Life
  • The Military Family Research Initiative
  • The Healthy Veteran Research Initiative
  • Research Translation and Education

“Our executive and research teams are looking forward to the leadership and expertise that A/Prof Johnson will bring to his role, as we all strive toward finding answers to the health challenges experienced by our veteran community,” said Ms Dwyer.