clinical trials

$ 4.5 million in scholarships for MedTech, BioTech

Industrial growth center of Australia for MedTech and Pharmaceuticals awarded 18 new industry scholarships to provide researchers, physicians and other professionals with business experience.

The $ 32 million Researcher Exchange and Development Inside Industry (REDI) initiative, managed by MTPConnect, provides financial support to Australian and international companies enabling them to bring Australia’s best talent into the company to work on world challenges real. The scholarship program is funded through the $ 20 billion long-term medical research fund.

A complete list of REDI fellows can be viewed here. Participating companies include hearing aid manufacturer Cochlear Australia, vaccine manufacturer CSL, Brisbane-based artificial intelligence firm Max Kelsen, and Switzerland-based Medicines for Malaria Venture, among 13 others.

Fellows work in MedTech, BioTech and Pharmaceutical (MTP) companies for up to 20 months in Australia and Europe. Of the fellows, four currently work at QIMR Berghofer and ten are based across Australia, typically in universities.

$ 4.5 million in scholarships were awarded by MTPConnect

Professor Sudha Rao will use her 20-month scholarship to apply machine learning to investigate how epigenetic factors can exacerbate Covid-19 symptoms. Professor Rao is a researcher at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Queensland and will do her fellowship at the Max Kelsen artificial intelligence company.

According to the Australian Academy of Sciences, epigenetic factors are those external and environmental factors that influence how genes are regulated. Professor Rao said the research will help predict the risk of someone becoming seriously ill from Covid-19.

“The goal is to show an individual’s level of protection against COVID-19 so that those most at risk can be quickly identified and offered targeted treatment options. This is a fantastic opportunity to work with biologists, physicists, mathematicians and computational biologists to improve outcomes for people with COVID-19, “said Professor Rao.

Research chief Max Kelsen Maciej Trzaskowski said he was thrilled to work with Professor Rao.

“The collaboration with Professor Rao is a world-leading initiative: applying ML to unravel the mysteries of why COVID-19 can make one person seriously ill, while another person of the same age may not become seriously ill,” Trzaskowski said.

“This is a wonderful example of the pioneering work done in Australia by brilliant people like Professor Rao and we are thrilled to contribute to it.”

Another QIMR Berghofer recipient is associate professor Kate Gartlan who will spend 18 months at CSL identifying ways to improve stem cell transplant outcomes for blood cancer patients. Other projects include early cancer detection, a digital health program for pulmonary rehabilitation, and using AI to identify biomarkers for early coronary heart disease.

MTPConnect CEO Stuart Dignam said bringing together MTP companies and researchers, clinicians and industry professionals would help grow the industry.

“Our congratulations to these 18 talented fellows who are doing vital work in our industry for patients and the companies that are sponsoring them. There are now 32 supported fellows through our REDI program, all gaining real-world experience in research-intensive companies, ”said Dignam.

“Not only do fellows benefit from working in industrial settings, but the program also ensures that they return to their home institution for a while so they can share their industrial research experiences and help drive cultural change centered. on marketing “.

This money is to be used for the scholar’s salary and for costs, such as retirement. To qualify for the scholarship, a prospective sponsoring company must have committed to a potential scholar and have a clear R&D blueprint in the application. The fellow must also be an Australian citizen.

MTPConnect was founded in late 2015 as part of the federal government’s Industrial Growth Centers Initiative. These are government-funded non-profit organizations led by industry experts. However, the federal government has announced that it will stop supporting the centers and expects to switch to self-financing by June this year.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley by email.

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