Professors win prestigious RPA Foundation Medal

Outstanding research into bacterial skin infections has won leading clinician and Centenary Laboratory Head the shared honour of the prestigious RPA Foundation Medal – Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s, highest accolade.

Professor Wolfgang Weninger, Immune Imaging

Professor Wolfgang Weninger, Head of Immune Imaging

Professor Wolfgang Weninger, who heads up Centenary Institute’s Immune Imaging program, and Professor Paul Torzillo, RPA’s Head of Department of Respiratory Medicine – were announced joint winners, each taking home $35,000 to invest in medical and health-based research.

Dermatology expert Professor Weninger was honoured for his research into the mechanisms of skin inflammation and infection. In particular, his group is interested how the function of the skin immune system is inhibited by highly infectious bacteria and other microbes. Continue reading

Preventable liver disease costs more than diabetes

Sydney team hopes to reduce the burden with research-led intervention

Professor Geoff McCaughan

Professor Geoff McCaughan

Liver diseases have an impact on the Australian economy 40 per cent greater than chronic kidney disease and Type 2 diabetes combined, according to a report released today.

The report estimates the annual burden of liver diseases in Australia at more than $50 billion. And yet almost all liver disease is preventable.

The Centenary Institute’s liver research unit is one of the biggest in Australia. It is also one of first in the world to try to come to grips with liver damage at its most fundamental molecular level.

Head of research into liver disease and damage at Centenary, Professor Geoff McCaughan, and his team are focusing their research on promoting liver health, and understanding how chronic liver damage can develop into liver cancer. Continue reading

New laboratories help put Centenary research into practice

Professor John Rasko, AO and Minister for Health and Medical Research, The Hon. Jillian Skinner, MP

Professor John Rasko, AO and Minister for Health and Medical Research, The Hon. Jillian Skinner, MP

Centenary is at the heart of Sydney’s new five-year plan for clinical research just launched by the NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Jillian Skinner.

“We applaud the SLHD for having the foresight to have a strategic approach to medical research, and look forward to an ever closer collaboration that will enrich our patients’ lives,” said Centenary’s Executive Director, Professor Mathew Vadas, AO.

The launch itself demonstrated the Institute’s pivotal role, because it also served as the opening for Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s new Cell and Molecular Therapies Laboratories which will be run by Centenary’s head of Gene and Stem Cell Therapy, Professor John Rasko AO.

“With this milestone we open up new opportunities for treating patients who suffer from cancer, genetic and other diseases,” Professor Rasko says.

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Number of people worldwide with hepatitis would fill over 6,000 Olympic stadiums **

Dr Nick Shackel, Associate Faculty, Liver Cell Biology, Liver Injury & Cancer. Photo by Kat Finch.

Dr Shackel studies the genes that are triggered when hepatitis strikes. He hopes his work will lead to a better and earlier understanding of the likely course of the disease in individual patients.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by infection with a virus. The virus types B and C that lead to chronic conditions are the most common causes of liver scarring or cirrhosis and of liver cancer.  It is typically diagnosed after people visit their GPs complaining of extreme tiredness and is picked up through a routine blood test, which can even distinguish the type.

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