Two Australian scientists have been awarded $2.5 million in support of ground-breaking research into Alzheimer’s disease and leukaemia.
Brisbane scientists, Professor Geoff Faulkner and Associate Professor Steven Lane, were the first recipients of the CSL Centenary Fellowship and will each receive $1.25 million, over a five-year period to continue their research.
Professor Faulkner from the University of Queensland believes long-term memory may be stored in our brain’s DNA, and he wants to test this theory on the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. His research aims to give us a better understanding of Alzheimer’s and hopefully bring us closer to finding a cure.
Associate Professor Lane from the AIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, will use his fellowship to conduct research into leukaemia treatments to reduce relapse rates in older patients.
For leukaemia patients over 60, the prognosis is bleak with only 10 percent surviving beyond 12 months, compared to an 85 percent success rate in children. Associate Professor Lane wants to change this by identifying new drug pathways and explore the repurposing of existing drugs to target resistant leukaemia types.
SL established the $25 million Fellowship program this year to mark their centenary with the intent to cultivate excellence in Australian medical research by fostering mid-career scientists to pursue world-class research at an Australian Institution. Two individual, five-year fellowships are awarded each calendar year.
“Australian research punches above its weight on the world stage with an excellent track record in new discoveries to potentially address the world’s unmet medical needs,” said CSL CEO & Managing Director Paul Perreault.
“At CSL, we are driven by our promise to save lives and protect the health of people around the world. We’re extremely proud to support research that holds the potential to save and change many lives. Our Centenary Fellowships honour CSL’s long legacy of contributing to innovative medicines, particularly for patients suffering serious diseases.”
CSL Chief Scientific Officer Andrew Cuthbertson says Professor Faulkner and Associate Professor Lane are the embodiment of what the Fellowships recognise.
“Growing skills and expertise through well-funded, long-term support is essential in order to help the Australian research community continue to thrive,” Mr Cuthbertson says.
The CSL Centenary Fellowships are competitively-selected grants offered to mid-career (3-8 years post-doctoral) medical researchers. Applications for the CSL Centenary Fellowships open annually on 1 June. For further information about the program visit http://www.csl.com.au/centenary/fellowships.htm