$2.5 million CSL Centenary Fellowship winners announced


CSL has announced the winners of their two five-year $1.25 million fellowships, with research investigating new ways to combat health challenges of global significance: cancer and infectious diseases.

The Centenary Fellowships are for early-mid career medical researchers. The fellowships are high-value awards available to Australians who wish to continue a career in medical research in Australia.

CSL announced that Dr Alisa Glukhova, biologist at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, is investigating a fundamental cell communication system that guides the growth of embryos. When it goes wrong, the system can contribute to cancer and other diseases. By determining the structure and shape of a signal receptor in this system, known as the Frizzled protein, she hopes to create a path to new kinds of cancer drugs. Little is known about how Frizzled proteins and cell signalling systems work – a gap in knowledge that Alisa hopes to close.

Professor Si Ming Man is investigating disease-fighting proteins produced by the immune system and how they might be harnessed to fight infectious diseases. The answers could lead to alternatives to over-used and increasingly ineffective antibiotics, providing new ways to combat multidrug-resistant microbes. Professor Man is an infectious diseases researcher at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, in Canberra.

CSL Chief Scientific Officer Dr Andrew Nash said “Alisa’s and Si Ming’s work epitomises the ethos of the CSL Centenary Fellowships. They are each seeking a deeper understanding of key proteins—vital molecules for all living systems—that could transform how we fight infectious diseases and cancer.”

Established in 2016, CSL’s centenary year, the fellowships pay tribute to the company’s origins by supporting Australia’s scientific community. The awards support Australian scientists to pursue world-class research, thereby fostering excellence within the Australian medical research sector.

Two competitively selected, five-year fellowships are awarded each calendar year to early-mid-career (4-10 years post doctoral) medical researchers. The total value of each award is $1.25 million, and provides for a full-time salary plus research costs and/or a post-doctoral research assistant.

CSL also continues to support the AusBiotech + Invest 2020 conference, where Dr Nash will Chair the Millis Oration. This year’s keynote features Professor Paul Young, Professor of Virology and Head of School, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland, who present on his world-leading work fighting against COVID-19. The Millis Oration will be presented at 9.30 am, Thursday, 29 October. Registrations remain open.