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News & Trends - Biotechnology

Viertel Foundation awards $4.1M to medical research

Health Industry Hub | November 22, 2019 |

The prestigious annual Viertel Senior Medical Research Fellowships have been announced for 2019 committing just over $3.75 million to three mid-career Australian researchers undertaking leading edge research into immunology and infectious diseases, as well as its role of the immune microenvironment in cancer.

The 2019 Senior Medical Research Fellows are:

1.     Professor Andrew Steer – Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

2.     Dr Tracy Putoczki – Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

3.     Dr Richard Berry – Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute.

Each Fellow receives $1.25 million ($250,000 per year for five years) to support their important work informing the development of new therapies in their areas of specialisation. 

 “Medical research, and many innovations to advance our community, social, economic and health wellbeing, rely on philanthropy. For nearly 25 years Sylvia and Charles Viertel’s legacy has been honoured through the fellowships and the establishment of an impressive alumni of medical researchers,” said Jodi Kennedy, General Manager of Charitable Trusts and Philanthropy, Equity Trustees.

“The Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation funds two of the Fellowships. We were delighted this year to bring together the Viertel funding with additional funds from two other charitable trusts we manage, the Cross Family Trust and the Frank Alexander Charitable Trust, to make a third fellowship possible,” she said.

In addition, five $85,000 one-year clinical investigation scholarships were awarded to:

1.     Dr Jun Yang – Hudson Institute of Medical Research

2.     Dr Amali Mallawaarachchi – The Garvan Institute of Medical Research

3.     Dr Nidhi Garg – The University of Sydney

4.     Dr Mastura Monif – Monash University

5.     Dr Andrew Neal – Monash University.

Professor Peter Leedman, Chairman of the Viertel Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board, revealed that the 2019 applications for both the Fellowships and the clinical investigations scholarships, were of an extremely high standard.

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“Each year we are impressed by the quality of the candidates and the incredible work they are doing in pursuit of new diagnostics, treatments and preventative strategies for some of our most intractable medical problems,” said Professor Leedman.

The Viertel Foundation is managed in partnership with co-trustees Justice Debra Mullins AO (Chair), Rex Freudenberg and Paul de Silva, and is one of Australia’s largest charitable foundations distributing around $7.5 million annually.

Click the link for more about the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation.

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