fellows continue to achieve in 2011

19 December

Our veski innovation fellows continue to make significant contributions to their fields both locally and internationally.

Highlights from 2011 include the election of Professor Michael Cowley as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering; a number of NHMRC Grants including $1.5 million for A/Professor Ygal Haupt's team, $633,000 for Dr Ross Dickins and $640,000 for Dr Mark Shackleton; a $1.2 million grant from Human Frontier Science Program for Dr Matthew Call’s collaboration with scientists in the US and Japan; and the unveiling of a new research technology by Dr Alyssa Barry to reveal how humans develop immunity to malaria.

Professor Andrew Holmes AM

Professor Andrew Holmes is the inaugural veski innovation fellow and returned from Cambridge University to work in the new $100 million Bio21 Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Institute. Following his veski innovation fellowship, Professor Holmes was awarded the prestigious CSIRO Fellowship and welcomed as a Fellow of the Australian Academy. In December 2010, Andrew was invited to join the veski board of directors and became the first veski innovation fellow to join the Board. Professor Holmes recently accepted the Oxford University Newton Abraham Visiting Professorship, which he is undertaking until March 2012.

Professor Marcus Pandy

Professor Pandy returned from the University of Texas at Austin to take up the role of Chair of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Melbourne. Professor Pandy is currently collaborating with colleagues from the University of Florida and Stanford University on developing new methods for validating musculoskeletal models of movement. He and his fellow collaborators received a National Institute of Health grant valued at million. He currently manages three separate laboratories dedicated to research in biomechanical engineering at The University of Melbourne: the Biomechanics Wet Lab, the Human Motion Lab and the Computational Biomechanics Lab.

Dr Gareth Forde

Dr Gareth Forde returned from Cambridge University to join the Monash University, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering as a Lecturer. Dr Forde established a new Bio Engineering Laboratory (BEL) to house research at the interface of engineering, biotechnology and medicine at Monash University. In 2010, Gareth moved into a National Sustainability Manager role with Lycopodium Process Industries.

Dr Alyssa Barry

Dr Alyssa Barry returned from the New York University School of Medicine, USA to build a research group in the International Health Research Group at the MacFarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health. Alyssa’s Research Project was entitled: Population genomics of major surface antigen genes of the malaria parasite. Alyssa took up a laboratory head position at WEHI in March 2011. In this role she has continued her research and unveiled a new research technology that is revealing how humans develop immunity to malaria.

Professor Michael Cowley

Professor Michael Cowley returned to Melbourne after 10 years in the US, including a period as Associate Professor in the Division of Neuroscience, Oregon National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health and Science University, Beaverton US where he specialised in research into obesity. Professor Cowley established his laboratory at Monash University as part of their Obesity Initiative. In 2011, Professor Cowley was invited to participate in the National Science Tour as part of Science Week and became the fourth member of the veski family to be elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Professor Sarah Hosking

Professor Sarah Hosking received the inaugural veski innovation fellowship (Non-Australian). She relocated from the United Kingdom where she was Professor of Optometry at Aston University in Birmingham and City University, London. Professor Hosking undertook a joint research activity at the Centre for Eye Research Australia [CERA], with Professor Jonathan Crowston, Head of the Glaucoma Unit and Professor Graeme Jackson at the Brain Research Institute at the Austin Hospital. She has since moved on from the professorial appointment at CERA to become CEO at the Australian College of Optometry. In her current role Professor Hosking is expanding the research initiated through the veski innovation fellowship with a growing team.

Associate Professor Ygal Haupt

Associate Professor Haupt was born in Israel and had dual Australian and Israeli citizenship. Associate Professor Haupt’s laboratory is located at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre where his wife, research scientist Dr Sue Haupt, supports him. In 2011, his team at Peter Mac received more than $1.5 million worth of NHMRC Grants. Associate Professor Haupt’s research Project is entitled: Regulation of Tumour Suppression.

Dr Ross Dickins

Dr Ross Dickins relocated from Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory, New York where he held the position of Postdoctoral Fellow. Since returning to Australia Dr Dickins has also received a Nossal Fellowship. Dr Dickins established his laboratory at Walter & Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research [WEHI]. In 2010, Dr Ross Dickins was awarded a $1 million Viertel Foundation Fellowship. He has recently received a $633,000 NHMRC Grant to continue his research. Ross’s Research Project is entitled: Modelling Cancer Therapy using RNA interference.

Dr Mark Shackleton

Dr Shackleton relocated from the University of Michigan in a town called Ann Arbor, USA, developing expertise in melanoma cell biology. Since returning to Australia, Dr. Shackleton was awarded a 2010 NHMRC Achievement Award, which is given to the highest-ranked applicant in Australia for the NHMRC’s Career Development Award Level 1. Dr Shackleton is the Medical Oncologist and Group Leader of the Melanoma Research Laboratory, Research Division at The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. In 2011, Dr Shackleton received a $640,000 NHMRC Grant to continue his research. In October 2010, Mark was awarded a Pfizer Fellowship worth $1 million. Dr Shackleton’s Research Project is entitled: Modelling human melanoma progression.

Professor Edwin van Leeuwen

Professor van Leeuwen moved on from his University of Melbourne professorial position in June 2010 to take up the position of managing director of a major mining company Norilsk Nickel Australia. He was responsible for their Australian operations, including business development in South East Asia, India, China, Japan and South America. Recently, he was made the Director of Norilsk Nickel International and is living in Moscow.

Dr Christopher McNeill

Dr Christopher McNeill relocated to Melbourne after a stellar career at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, where he worked in the Cavendish Laboratory. Dr McNeill is carrying out world-class research on flexible electronics and solar cells at Monash University. Since returning to Australia, Dr McNeill has received a number of additional grants and fellowships including an ARC Future Fellowship worth $705,000. Dr McNeill’s Research Project is entitled: Nanostructuring and nanocharacterisation of organic semiconductor devices.

Dr Matthew Call

Dr Matthew Call relocated to Melbourne from Harvard Medical School, USA and is working alongside his wife, Melissa, who is also a research scientist. Dr Call is the second recipient of a veski innovation fellowship (non-Australian). He has taken up the position of Laboratory Head within the Structural Biology Division of The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. In 2011, Dr Call received part of a $1.2 million grant from the Human Frontier Science Program for a collaboration with scientists in the US and Japan. He also received a NHMRC Grant worth $389,000. Dr Call’s Research Project is entitled: Intramembrane mechanics of immunoreceptor activation.

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