An Australian scientist who has revealed how specialised immune cells protect against cancer – Dr Simone Park from the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection & Immunity at The University of Melbourne – has been named the winner of the ‘In Memory of Neil Lawrence Prize’ at the 2019 Centenary Institute Medical Innovation Awards. She receives $30,000 from Centenary’s proud sponsor Commonwealth Private to support her ongoing research.
Dr Elinor Hortle from the Centenary Institute has been awarded the $15,000 ‘Bayer Innovation Award’ after finishing in second place for her discovery that anti-platelet drugs like aspirin might provide an effective treatment for tuberculosis (TB). The ‘Harvard Club of Australia Foundation Travel Prize’ worth $5,000 for the purpose of travelling to Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA to explore opportunities for collaboration, also went to Dr Hortle.
Separately, Dr Elise McGlashan from the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health – Monash University has been named winner of the ‘People’s Choice Award’, voted on by the general public and research community, for her work showing that simple changes to light exposure could dramatically increase the number of patients who benefit from first-line antidepressant medications.
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Professor John Rasko AO has led a world-first clinical trial into engineered stem cell treatment use, treating 15 patients with steroid resistant acute graft-versus-host disease.
Centenary Institute research has discovered that the lack of an enzyme in the liver called sphingosine kinase 2 results in pronounced insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, both symptoms of early stage type 2 diabetes.
Research led by the Centenary Institute has shown that a healthy weight and coffee consumption may help lower the risk of high-risk drinkers developing alcohol-induced cirrhosis.