TQEH Research Expo features student researchers and Professor John Rasko AO

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 held on Thursday 10 October

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!.

BHI Researchers win awards

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. .

Scientific Director for the Basil Hetzel Institute

Associate Professor Joy Rathjen has been seconded to the role of Scientific Director of the Basil Hetzel Institute (BHI) in a position funded by The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF). TQEH Director of Research, Professor Guy Maddern, says, “Joy brings a strong background in laboratory based research, is enthusiastic about gaining greater input from the universities in support of students and is keen to provide support to both supervisors and students working within the BHI. This position is supported by THRF and we are very grateful to them for their commitment to The Institute.”.

Three members of the Virology Group win prizes at a national conference

Congratulations to (left-right in photo) Dr Makutiro Masavuli, Dr Zelalem Mekonnen and Dr Ashish Shrestha for each being awarded a prize at the 14th Scientific Meeting of the Australian Centre for HIV and Hepatitis Virology Research (ACH2). The conference was held last week at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat in the Lamington National Park, Queensland. Postdoctoral researcher Mak collected the Roche Young Achiever Award (value $500). Zel, who was recently awarded his PhD,  received the Chris Burrell HCV Travel Award (value $4,000) and The Hospital Research Foundation Early Career Fellow Ashish received the BD Biosciences Travel Grant (value $500). The Virology Group at the Basil Hetzel Institute is led by Professor Eric Gowans and Dr Branka Grubor-Bauk..

New State MP for Cheltenham, Mr Joe Szakacs MP, visits the BHI

State Member of Parliament for Cheltenham, Mr Joe Szakacs MP, met with the Director of Research at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Professor Guy Maddern, on Wednesday 29th May. They have both had a long association with TQEH, having each been born at the hospital! Mr Szakacs requested a tour of the Basil Hetzel Institute after receiving the 2018 Research Report. The discussion between Professor Maddern and Mr Szakacs ranged from the translational nature of research at the BHI, the invaluable clinical-research interface at TQEH, our long association with The Hospital Research Foundation (formerly TQEH Foundation), future challenges facing researchers, and a bit of history about some of the great medical advances that have arisen at TQEH..

SA’s Chief Scientist visits the Basil Hetzel Institute

South Australia's Chief Scientist Professor Caroline McMillen met with the Director of Research at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Professor Guy Maddern, and the Director of Research for the Central Adelaide Local Health Network, Professor John Beltrame, and toured the Basil Hetzel Institute on Monday 29th April. Professor Maddern said of her visit “Caroline McMillen’s visit to the BHI provided some valuable insights into how further collaborations can occur within the South Australian research network. It provided an opportunity to show the activity and facilities within the BHI”..