Please refer to The Hospital Research Foundation website for media exposure of Basil Hetzel Institute researchers.
Top Award Nomination for Young Heart Researcher
The Basil Hetzel Institute is providing opportunities for remarkable young scientists to make their mark on the world. Young Cardiac researcher Rachel Dreyer was recently nominated for and became a State Finalist in the Young Australian of the Year Awards 2013 in South Australia.
Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in women worldwide with females shown to have poorer outcomes compared with their male counterparts. Through her research, Rachel is aiming to close this ‘gender divide’ by investigating women in a range of cardiovascular disorders. More specifically, one of her major PhD projects, VIRGO Australia (Variation in Recovery: Role of Gender On Outcomes of Young Acute Myocardial Infarction Patients), is investigating why young women under the age of 55 have a 3 times greater in-hospital mortality following a heart attack compared with men.
Her PhD has involved the coordination of two major international research studies as well as two local projects with her growing reputation leading to regular invitations to share her knowledge and insights as a guest speaker at national and international cardiology forums on the subject of ‘Women’s Heart Health.’
Rachel’s research at the Basil Hetzel Institute has given her the opportunity to form international collaborations and through her involvement in the VIRGO project she crossed paths with US based Professor, Harlan Krumholz, a pioneer in cardiovascular outcomes research based at Yale University in the United States. As a recent recipient of the prestigious ‘American Australian Fellowship’, Rachel will depart Australia in early 2013 to join Professor Krumholz and his team to continue her post doctoral studies, an opportunity she truly relishes.
Rachel will also be named the ‘Sir Keith Murdoch Fellow’ at the upcoming annual American Australian Association benefit dinner in New York.
Breast Cancer Associate Professor Announced
Associate Professor Wendy Ingman has been appointed for a five year period as The Hospital Research Foundation Associate Professor of Breast Cancer Research.
A/Prof Ingman's group of seven researchers will study the underlying mechanisms that cause the breast to be susceptible to cancer. This involves studying mammary gland biology, particularly focussing on immunology of the mammary gland.
Michell-McGrath Breast Cancer Fellow welcomed to BHI
The Hospital Research Foundation has announced the inaugural $1.25milliion Michell McGrath Breast Cancer Research Fellowship.
The successful applicant, Professor Andreas Evdokiou and his team of five researchers have moved into the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research. Professor Evdokiou and his team will continue research on the development, progression and metastatic spread of breast cancer.
'TQEH has the largest Breast Cancer clinic in the state. Having access to the clinic and patient care will mean significant translational research can be undertaken, benefitting patients as quickly as possible', stated Professor Evdokiou.
To read further information click here.
Molecular Ageing Laboratory team moves to BHI
Further information to follow shortly.
SA Governor His Excellency Kevin Scarce and Mrs Scare visit the BHI
His Excellency, The Governor Kevin Scarce and his wife, Mrs Liz Scarce were guests at the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research in May 2011.
The Governor and Mrs Scarce, together with many of The Hospital Research Foundation bequestors, enjoyed a tour of the facility laboratories noting the laboratory equipment vital for conducting research at the site.
The tour was preceded by presentations by researchers, Professor Ray Morris (Head of Clinical Pharmacology Unit, TQEH) and Professor Peter-John Wormald (Head of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, TQEH).
The Hospital Research Foundation in conjunction with The Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research conduct regular, organised tours of the facility and thank all supporters, including the Governor and Mrs Scarce, for their interest and ongoing support.
Prof Eric Gowans Virology Group joins the BHI
Effective vaccines are necessary to control the spread of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Although these agents are classified in distinct virus families, many of the problems and issues related to vaccine design are similar. The viruses mutate rapidly and readily generate neutralising antibody-escape mutants. As canonical vaccines elicit neutralising antibody, an alternative approach to the development of vaccines which elicit cell mediated immunity is necessary to protect against infection with these agents.
The Virology laboratory which is newly established in the Basil Hetzel Institute will investigate novel strategies for the design of vaccines for these viruses. The laboratory will build on the recognised ability of DNA prime, virus vector boost to elicit specific immune responses. However, although DNA vaccines are effective in mice, this is not true for humans, although the problem is unrelated to mass, and consequently, the laboratory will investigate novel methods to improve the efficacy of DNA vaccination.
Similarly, although replication defective recombinant adenoviruses are able to elicit strong cell mediated immunity, a large proportion of the population is immune to many of the commonly used adenovirus vectors, and alternative vaccine vectors are required. In collaboration with Canadian colleagues, we have developed a novel adenovirus vector to which individuals have no pre-existing immunity, and will use this vector in our studies.
One major difference in the design of these vaccines reflects the mode of transmission, and although HIV can be transmitted by the parenteral route (injection etc), over 80% of new HIV infections arise in the developing world and as heterosexual transmission accounts for 70–80% of these, initial virus-host interactions occur at the genital mucosa. In contrast, the bulk of HCV infections in developing countries, result from poor medical practice, whereas in the West, most new cases occur in young intravenous drug users who share injecting equipment, as they experiment (often briefly) with drugs. Consequently, our HIV vaccines will be delivered by the intranasal route to generate pan-mucosal immunity and our HCV vaccines delivered by the intradermal route to generate effective systemic immunity.
We welcome Prof Gowans and his group and wish them continuing success with their research.