News and Events

Remembrance Day

November 11, 2020

Each year, at 11am on the 11th of November, Australians observe one minute’s silence in memory of those who have died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.

Known as Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, the day is commemorated across the country in different ways.

In the Covid era, many will participate in virtual services and memorials or find their own ways to remember and honour of the service rendered by so many.

Here is a list of services that you can participate in virtually, provided by the NSW RSL:

Watch ANZAC Day 2020 Services

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2020 Griffith Hack Concord Research Awards supported by Griffith Hack, the CRGH Research Committee and the ANZAC Research Institute.

November 11, 2020

The 2020 Griffith Hack Concord Innovation Research Awards are presented to researchers or research groups that have developed research that has the potential for commercialisation. Griffith Hack will then work with them over the next 12 months to evaluate and/or capture their IP or develop a monetisation roadmap that would assist them going forward. Over October and November 2020, presentations were held and the following awards were presented:

  • The 2020 Griffith Hack Concord Innovation Innovation Research Awards
  • The 2020 Griffith Hack Concord Early Career Researcher Prize
  • The 2020 Griffith Hack Concord Student Researcher Prize

 

Winners of the 2020 Griffith Hack Concord Innovation Research Awards were:

  • Dr Carl Jenkinson:  Development of a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method to measure multiple active and inactive vitamin D metabolites in circulation; and
  • Dr Christine Lee:  Hitting the true HIT – Plasma from patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) heightens the procoagulant response in healthy donor platelets

 

Finalists for the 2020 Griffith Hack Early Career Researcher Prize, with presentations held on Monday 26 October were:

  • Dr Christine Lee:  Hitting the true HIT – Plasma from patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) heightens the procoagulant response in healthy donor platelets
  • Dr Gonzalo Perez Siles: Therapeutic potential of targeting copper related pathways to treat axonal degeneration using in vitro (iPSC-derived motor neurons) and in vivo preclinical models
  • Dr Alvaro Gonzalez-Rajal:  Cell Cycle Status Impacts Recovery of Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells to Platinum Chemotherapy.
  • Dr Ramesh Narayanan: Hacking 500 million years of evolution to understand biological pathways that lead to neurodegeneration in Homo sapiens

Winner– Dr Christine Lee; Runner ups– Dr Gonzalo Perez-Siles and Dr Alvaro Gonzalez-Rajal

 

L-R:   Presenters: Dr Alvaro Gonzalez-Rajal; Dr Ramesh Narayanan; Dr Christine Lee; Prof David Handelsman (Director); Dr Carl Jenkinson; Dr Gonzalo Perez-Siles.

 

Finalists for the 2020 Griffith Hack Early Student Researcher Prize (open to all students both post and undergraduate), held on Monday 2nd November were :

Judge: Prof Cheryl Jones-  Head and Dean of the University of Sydney Medical Medical School

  • Ms Eugenie Macfarlane: Targeted Deletion of the Glucocorticoid Receptor in Chondrocytes Attenuates Cartilage Degradation in Murine Osteoarthritis
  • Ms Julianne Chong: Successful development and implementation of VTE stewardship across a hospital network
  • Dr Kim Tam Bui: Prevalence and severity of scanxiety in people with advanced cancers: Final results of a multicentre survey
  • Dr Aviv Pudipeddi:  High prevalence of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the elderly: a population-based study in Sydney, Australia

Winner– Ms Eugenie Macfarlane;  Runner up–  Dr Kim Tam Bui

 

L-R: Ms Julianne Chong;  Dr Kim Tam Bui; Prof Cheryl Jones (Judge); Prof David Handelsman (Director); Ms Eugenie Macfarlane and Dr Aviv Pudipeddi

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Anzac Day 2020

ANZAC Day – A Day of Remembrance

April 25, 2020

Commemorating ANZAC Day

The word ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers who fought together became known as Anzacs, exemplifying a tradition of service, selflessness and mateship. April 25th was officially designated ANZAC Day in 1916 by Australia and New Zealand. It is a national holiday in both countries and a day of remembrance. Commemorative services are held each year at dawn, the time of the original Gallipoli landing.

With the start of the Second World War and other conflicts including those of Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq; ANZAC Day has been expanded to include remembrance of all servicemen and women who have given so much to Australia.

The health and medical ANZAC Research Institute was named after and in remembrance of this tradition. This ANZAC Day we commemorate and learn from the sacrifice of so many Anzacs who gave so much.

The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway stands next to the ANZAC Research Institute as a reminder

The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway is a living memorial and a principal site of commemoration honouring all those who fought for Australia during World War II. It is a 800 walkway that spans 800 metres from Rhodes train station to the Concord Hospital campus, where the ANZAC Research Institute is located. The walkway runs aside the mangrove-studded shores of Brays Bay.
A principal focus of this walkway is on the sacrifices made during key Papua New Guinea campaign which took place in 1942-43 along the Kokoda Track. At the centrepiece of the walkway are magnificent granite walls bearing photographic images of the Kokoda campaign. The Walkway has been planted with tropical vegetation simulating the conditions of The Kokoda Track.
While representatives of the ANZAC Research Institute usually participate in ANZAC services at this location every year, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic this hasn’t been possible this year. Although today we may not be able to participate in remembrance services in person, we can do it as individuals and in spirit. Lest we forget.
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ANZAC’s Dendritic Cell Research laboratory instrumental in commercialism of a potential therapeutic

November 1, 2019

Kira Biotech’s research program is based on decades of research led by the late Professor Derek Hart and Associate Professor Georgina Clark while working at the Mater Medical Research Institute, the ANZAC Research Institute and The University of Sydney. Many Australian collaborators over the past decade have also contributed to the research, in particular, those researchers involved in the CRC for Translational Biomarkers, Sydney Local Health District, the University of Queensland and the University of California, San Francisco. Associate Professor Clark said the launch of Kira Biotech marks an important moment in her career and highlights the enormous effort by many dedicated scientists to translate research from the bench to bedside. “I am thrilled our research has attracted the capital and management team necessary to move it towards the clinic and closer to helping patients. KB312 is an example of an Australian technology that has potential for global health impact with its differentiated treatment approach,” said Associate Professor Clark.

Kira Biotech Series A funding press release

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ANZAC Research Institute Discovery Newsletter August 2019

New Discovery Newsletter Available – August 2019

September 4, 2019

ANZAC Research Institute Discovery Newsletter August 2019See our latest ANZAC Research Institute Discovery Newsletter – August 2019.

Some of the main news items:

  • Discover why some Australians are more likely to have cardiovascular disease
  • Sydney hosts International Asian Oceanic CMT Conference
  • Young Investigator Award for Andrology Research into Male Fertility
  • A Rewarding Partnership – NSW Ministery of Health Grant
  • Sacrifice Was Not In Vane – An edited version of an address given by ANZAC Research Institute chairman, Prof. Bob Lusby.

>> Click here to download

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ANZAC Research Institute Discovery Newsletter March 2019

New Discovery Newsletter available

March 22, 2019

ANZAC Research Institute Discovery Newsletter March 2019Learn how research at the ANZAC is putting the breaks on breast cancer, how a generous bequest has provided new equipment in the fight against disease and how blood research could mean better outcomes for Cardiovascular patients. All in the latest ANZAC Research Institute Discovery Newsletter:

https://anzac.edu.au/our-newsletter/

https://anzac.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AnzacDiscoveryMar2019_online.pdf

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High Performance Computing

Neurobiology Group Research Team Up With Raijin

December 12, 2018
High Performance Computing

Neurobiology group research team up with Raijin to study Inherited peripheral neuropathies.

High Performance Computing (HPC) are banks of specialist computers with large amounts of cores, memory, interconnects and fast storage. Raijin, named after the Shinto God of thunder, lightning and storms, is a hybrid Fujitsu Primergy and Lenovo NeXtScale high-performance, distributed-memory cluster, located at the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) facility in Canberra. Raijin@NCI is from funding from the Australian Government, through its Super Science Initiative (under the EIF Climate HPC Centre Funding Agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Australian National University), as well as through the 2015-16 Agility Fund of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy. Grants are administered through Intersect.

The Neurobiology group at the ANZAC have recently been awarded a grant for to utilise resources at Raijin@NCI for research into Inherited peripheral neuropathies (IPNs). The aim of their research is to identify dysregulated genes in families that suffer from this genetic condition to improve diagnosis and treatment.

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ANZAC Research Institute 17th Annual Symposium

ANZAC Research Institute holds 17th Annual Symposium

October 30, 2018
ANZAC Research Institute 17th Annual Symposium

On the 18th of October, the ANZAC Research Institute held its 17th Annual Symposium on “Lessons from the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project (CHAMP)”. The keynote speakers were Professor Bob Cumming who presented an overview of the history and results of the project, then followed by:

  • Vasi Naganathan presenting on “Geriatric Syndromes in Older Men”,
  • Ben Hsu presenting on “Androgen Status of Older Men – Cause or Consequence of Poor Health”,
  • Fiona Stanaway presenting on “Health of Italian-Born Older Men”,
  • David Le Couteur AO presenting on “Nutrition, Obesity and Lifespan”,
  • Clive Wright presenting on “Oral Health of Older Men”.

The CHAMP project is a multidisciplinary epidemiological study and was designed to provide a wide range of new information about the health of older men. CHAMP began in 2005 when 1705 men, aged 70 years and over, were recruited to the study and interviewed for baseline results. Since then, follow ups have been conducted every two to three years. It is one of the world’s largest ongoing older men’s research projects.

The symposium presented how CHAMP continues to provide a wealth of research opportunities in basic science, clinical medicine, epidemiology and psychosocial aspects of ageing.

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advances in microscope facility - Dr Vivien Chen

Amazing advances in microscope facility

January 15, 2018

A research equipment grant of $365,000 from the Cancer Institute of NSW has enabled the ANZAC Research Institute to purchase an incredibly powerful microscope which allows scientists to examine cells within living animals.

advances in microscope facility - Dr Vivien Chen

A research equipment grant of $365,000 from the Cancer Institute of NSW has enabled the ANZAC Research Institute to purchase a remarkably powerful microscope which allows scientists to examine cells within living animals. Already the high speed, multichannel fluorescence microscope is providing state of the art images and assisting researchers in many fields to advance their projects.

The application for the equipment grant was co-ordinated across ten research groups within the ANZAC Research Institute, the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute and the Centenary Institute, all of which are now seeing significant benefits.

Dr Vivien Chen, Staff Specialist Haematologist at Concord Hospital and Leader of the Platelet and Thrombosis Research Laboratory at ARI, says recent developments in microscopy have contributed to astonishing advances in scientists’ ability to produce images of biological processes.
“We can put a live mouse onto the platform, then, by fluorescent tagging the cells, activation markers, or proteins of interest, we can directly visualise events occurring in real time within our animal models.

advances in microscope facility - microscope images

“My group is interested in the process of blood clot formation in the context of heart attack, stroke or cancer, all condition which have associated deep venous thrombosis. Using this microscope, we can image the blood flow within a vessel and watch the blood clot. For the first time, we can measure the rate of individual platelets as they come in to form the clot and monitor the stabilising proteins as they form around the blood clot.

“Thus, when we develop drugs for inhibiting blood clot formation, in our search for therapies for improving outcomes after a heart attack or stroke, or for prevention of deep vein thrombosis or potentially fatal pulmonary embolism, we don’t just have to test it in a test tube. We can evaluate them in a live model where all the components of the clotting system are together: the blood vessel, the blood components and the forces of blood flow. This becomes a very powerful experiment bringing us much closer to translation to the clinic.”

Dr Chen explains that the microscope also allows researchers to look at the underlying mechanism of biological processes.

“So if you’re interested in a particular protein and a particular pathway you can modify that pathway either genetically or pharmacologically, and by comparing that mouse with a wild-type mouse with the pathway intact, you can get some powerful information about how that pathway is working in that biological system.”

The new equipment is proving to be invaluable in cancer research. Being able to view a live animal means, for example, that researchers can watch to see how a drug is able to get within a tumour. The team at the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute is using fluorescence to see how deeply a drug penetrates a tumour and which cells it is getting into. The Biogenerentology group can directly image drugs as they are delivered to the liver cells.

Another example of the use of this powerful microscope is the Northcott Neurogenetics group who are investigating inherited forms of nerve damage due to inherited defects in pathways that nerves require to function over long distances. To mimic that disease in the laboratory, those neuroscientists working on new treatment targets uses worms that glow fluorescently so they can study these living organisms viewed under the microscope. By this means the scientists can study for the first time the direct effects of an abnormal gene or protein suspected of causing human nerve damage on the worm’s ability to move normally.

As Dr Chen says, the new equipment has been a welcome addition to the facilities available at the ANZAC Research Institute, enabling researchers in various fields to continue to contribute at the highest level internationally. In particular, it provides a valuable step in the process of translating the findings in fundamental research made at the Institute into the development of new treatments for disease.

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Professor Derek Hart

Remembering Professor Derek Hart

December 1, 2017
Professor Derek Hart
Professor Derek Hart

Professor Derek Hart was a passionate, driven and inspired clinician scientist who had a consuming motivation to improve medical care through a life committed to medical research. Through a career full of achievements he made many important discoveries that together built his grand vision for immune therapies based on dendritic cells as novel therapeutics for solid and liquid cancers as well as immunosuppression and controlling graft vs host disease.

Derek Hart was born and educated in New Zealand, graduating in 1976 with distinction and numerous awards from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Otago. After graduation he initially started on surgical training before winning a Rhodes Scholarship and, in 1981, submitting his DPhil on transplantation antigens while working at the Nuffield Department of Surgery, Oxford University. There he met his wife, Dr Georgina Clark, an Australian post-doctoral fellow co-worker forging a formidable career-long scientific team. Through these studies, Derek was particularly proud to have been the first to identify human dendritic cells, critical effectors in immune rejection, soon after Ralph Steinman’s 2011 Nobel Prize-winning discovery of dendritic cells in the mouse. In 1981 Derek returned to Christchurch to gain specialist medicine and pathology qualifications as a haematologist (FRACP, FRCPA) setting up a research-focussed Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit. In 1998 he was appointed the inaugural Professor/Director of the Mater Medical Research Institute in Brisbane where he served for a decade before being recruited in 2000 to the ANZAC Research Institute and the University of Sydney as Professor of Transplantation and Immunotherapy and NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow. In Sydney, at the ANZAC Research Institute he established the Dendritic Cell Research group which flourished under his inspiring and energetic leadership propelling it to become the focal point of a wide network of collaborating scientists at Concord, Westmead and RPA Hospitals supporting over 25 senior basic and clinical scientists, postdoctoral Fellows and students. Over his career Derek made many important discoveries and “firsts” as well as winning awards and honours in the course of training numerous clinician scientists as well as basic scientists, being equally at home in both domains. In recent years, he chaired the Ramaciotti Scientific Advisory Committee. Like all contemporary medical researchers he suffered regular mixed success in the peer-review grant system but the thought of giving up or changing direction never crossed his mind. Derek was also very active in commercialising his discoveries taking out key patents and establishing, in 2013, a spin-off company Dendrocyte BioTech which works towards developing new dendritic cell-based immune therapies.

Derek Hart lived and worked by his own high standards with a seemingly inexhaustible drive for scientific achievement and excellence. His legendary work habits derived crucial support from his resilient wife and scientific partner Georgina and his two cherished children Olivia and James. With characteristic courage and tenacity, Derek faced his final illness for over a year without flinching or self-pity. Instead, he redoubled his efforts in science and commercialisation including overseas travels to meet colleagues, investors and biotech companies as well as the careful installation of succession plans to secure his legacy of novel immune therapies. That legacy will be continued not just by the network centred on his Dendritic Research Group but also by the legion of scientists he trained in Christchurch, Brisbane and Sydney now spread worldwide. The world of medical research is a better place for Derek’s unequivocally committed life. He and his indomitable drive will be missed beyond measure.

Professor David Handelsman
Director
ANZAC Research Institute

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