TQEH Research Expo 2019 continued today with 5 sessions of oral presentations from students and clinical trainees based at the Basil Hetzel Institute, TQEH. An engaging Plenary Lecture was delivered by Professor John Rasko AO, who is Professor of Medicine at the Centenary Institute in Sydney. The title of his talk was "Cell and Gene Therapy: great power brings great responsibility", the latter part of the quote borrowed from the original Spiderman comic! Scientific Director Joy Rathjen said "John gave an exciting overview of recent successes in the development of Cell and Gene Therapeutics. After a summary of the state of play in the field, highlighting the 44 Cell and Gene therapies now approved in a multiplicity of jurisdictions globally, he explored new developments in personalised immune cell therapies (CAR-T cells) and then examples, from his own work, of promising clinical trials for curing difficult to treat genetic diseases. He finished with a thought provoking analysis of the responsibilities that we (scientists, clinicians, influencers and the public) face as these therapies are implemented." The day concluded with the presentation of awards by the Honourable Stephen Wade MLC, Minister for Health and Wellbeing. We thank all the generous sponsors for making this two day highlight of TQEH research possible: The Hospital Research Foundation, The University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, plus industry sponsors Abacus dx, AGRF, Beckman Coulter, Bio-Strategy, Chem-Supply, Eppendorf, Southern Cross Science. Photo (L-R): Scientific Director Associate Professor Joy Rathjen, Professor John Rasko and TQEH Director of Research Professor Guy Maddern. More photos can be found on the BHI Facebook page!.
TQEH Researcher Showcase, which forms part of the two day TQEH Research Expo, invited donors of The Hospital Research Foundation to join BHI, TQEH researchers for the afternoon. An introduction by THRF CEO Mr Paul Flynn was followed by two students from the BHI who were recent Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences finalists in The University of Adelaide's three minute thesis (3MT) competition. Amita Ghadge (Breast Biology and Cancer Unit) and Tom Eldredge (Oesophageal Physiology Group) each gave their 3 minute talks on "Why Alex Dunphy won't get breast cancer" and "Can we win the war on obesity?" respectively. These talks were followed by a panel discussion chaired by TQEH Director of Research Professor Guy Maddern titled "Challenges and Solutions to Medical Research". Panellists included Professor John Beltrame (CALHN Director of Research and academic cardiologist), Professor Catherine Hill (Head of TQEH Rheumatology) and Fiona Smithson (THRF Director Strategy and Partnerships, Executive Director of the Centre for Creative Health). Afternoon tea, generously provided by The Hospital Research Foundation was enjoyed by donors and researchers alike!.
Congratulations to Sarah Bernhardt (photo, right), PhD student in the Breast Cancer and Biology Unit for being awarded three prizes at the September 24th Florey Postgraduate Research Conference for the Faculty of Health Sciences at The University of Adelaide. Dr Katharina Richter (photo, left), NHMRC Early Career Fellow in the Surgical Science Research Group was awarded a Women in Innovation "Winnovation" Award in the science category. Dr Branka Grubor-Bauk (photo, centre), who holds a Mid Career Fellowship from The Hospital Research Foundation and works in the Virology Group at the BHI, has just received $5,000 to support her research from The University of Adelaide. Branka was one of ten outstanding women researchers to be recognised with one of the University's Women's Research Excellence Awards for 2019. .