His project, Direct reprogramming of adult cardiac fibroblasts to functional cardiomyocytes through targeted delivery, aims to restore damaged heart tissue to a functional state following injury.
“Current therapies have limited abilities to repair damaged heart tissue, but reprogramming cardiac fibroblasts could restore healthy function for survivors of heart disease,” Professor Cooper-White said.
Professor Alexandrov’s work aims to assist patients who have had organ transplants.
“Their survival depends on immunosuppressant drugs that need to be carefully administered and monitored to avoid toxicity and organ rejection by the body,” he said.
“This work will develop a point-of-care test for patients and clinicians to easily and accurately monitor drug levels at the bedside or at patients’ homes to maintain immunosuppressant drugs at their optimal level.”
Dr Joseph Powell: RD Wright Biomedical – Level 1 category of the Career Development Fellowship scheme and Commonwealth Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research
Dr Powell’s project, Disease genomics: genetic control of gene regulation underlying disease susceptibility, was the top ranked Career Development Fellowship in his category, and led to him receiving the prestigious Commonwealth Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Health and Medical Research.
This annual $50,000 award is given to one Career Development Fellowship recipient in recognition of their outstanding achievement in health and medical research.
Dr Powell is the first Queensland researcher to receive this accolade in its 16 year history.
He said that the past decade had seen a dramatic increase in scientists’ understanding of the mechanisms by which genetics cause diseases, with research cataloguing thousands of common genetic variants that affect human health.
“Despite this vast amount of data, there are still fundamental gaps in our knowledge, which impede researchers’ ability to develop therapeutic solutions,” Dr Powell said.
“My team uses sophisticated statistical methodology and super computers to drill down into the data and unlock some of the mysteries around the ways genetic variations predispose individuals to disease.”