Australian researchers win $2 million

Two young researchers have each been awarded $1 million in funding for biomedical research in Australia. The Pfizer Australia Research Fellowships were presented by Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Christopher Pyne, and Nobel Laureate, Dr Robin Warren, in Sydney on Wednesday.

Queensland's Dr Denise Doolan and Victorian Dr Stephen Turner will receive five years of funding through the Fellowships.

Dr Turner is a lecturer and National Health and Medical Research Council(NHMRC) RD Wright Research Fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. His research involves the study of how a subset of white blood cells (called killer T cells), recognise and remove infected cells from an individual.

A special interest is how immune memory is generated and how this can protect an individual against infection. His research has implications for improving vaccine strategies for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, pandemic influenza, malaria and some types of cancer.

Dr Doolan is a visiting scientist at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR).

She is also currently the Scientific Director of the Malaria Program, Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC), in Silver Spring, USA.

Her research focuses on the field of malaria - specifically, developing vaccines against malaria, understanding the molecular basis of immunity to malaria, and translating Plasmodium falciparum genomic sequence data for practical application.

The Fellowship will allow Dr Doolan to resume her academic career in Australia after studying in the US.

Pfizer Australia has allocated $11 million in funding to Australian scientists since the Pfizer Australia Research Fellowships were established in 2003.

Through this significant financial support of science, the Fellowships aim to encourage leaders in biomedical research to establish a career in Australia, fostering the continued development of Australia as a source of world-class scientific innovation and ideas.

Pfizer Australia senior medical director Dr Bill Ketelbey said the Pfizer Australia Research Fellowships support the development of the Australian scientific community and innovative research projects.

"Australia has benefited significantly from having a strong and internationally competitive scientific community," Dr Bill Ketelbey said. "Continued investment in this valuable resource is essential to the future progress of Australian research."

Pfizer Australia is the nation's leading research-based health care company. It discovers, develops, manufactures and markets innovative medical treatments for both humans and animals. Pfizer Australia is investing more than $45 million in local research and development. For more information visit www.pfizer.com.au

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CONTACTS:

Adrian Dolahenty, Pfizer Australia Media Affairs on (0438) 656 175.

Craig Regan, Pfizer Australia Media Affairs on (0408) 448 527.


Website: www.pfizeraustralia.com.au

Pfizer Australia Health Report:
www.healthreport.com.au

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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