REDI Fellowships for medical research

Two La Trobe staff members have been awarded sought-after Fellowships as part of the Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) Fellowship program by MTPConnect.

Professor Brian Abbey and Dr Darcelle Thompson are among the current round of fellows that will be embedded in companies across the medical technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals sector in Australia and overseas for up to 12 months to work on priority medical research projects.

La Trobe Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement), Professor Sue Dodds, said the Fellowships enable researchers to gain high-level commercial and industry experience and bring their research capabilities to life.

“Moving from research discovery, to identifying and validating commercialisation opportunities, is absolutely critical if our research is to make a tangible difference to people’s lives,” Professor Dodds said.

“We’re very pleased that two La Trobe staff members – working across cancer research and business development and commercialisation in biotech – will have an opportunity to accelerate industry relationships, drive commercial research outcomes, and gain valuable commercial and industry experience.”

“I congratulate Professor Abbey and Dr Thompson and look forward to seeing the outcome of their projects,” Professor Dodds said.

The REDI Fellowship Program is part of MTPConnect’s $32 million Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative, funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). The REDI Fellowship program provides financial support to companies in the medical technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals (MTP) sector to bring researchers, clinicians and MTP professionals in-house.

REDI Fellowship winners:

Professor Brian Abbey, La Trobe University’s Institute of Molecular Science

An expert in Physics and Engineering, Professor Abbey will undertake a 12-month project with global cancer diagnostics company, Leica Biosystems.

Professor Abbey will spend his time working on the commercialisation of a new nanotechnology platform for assessing difficult-to-diagnose cancers. The aim is to establish a clear regulatory pathway and perform additional market validation to bring his diagnostic platform to market, enabling better outcomes for cancer patients.

Professor Brian Abbey spent the past six years developing an innovative microscope slide called NanoMslide together with his colleague Dr Eugeniu Balaur, which received support for pre-clinical trials through the La Trobe Strategic Investment Fund (SIF), to differentiate abnormal cells from healthy tissue in cancer patients.

Dr Darcelle Thompson, La Trobe University

An expert in business development and commercialisation, Dr Darcelle Thompson will undertake a 12-month project with global biotech leader in biotherapies and influenza vaccines, CSL Limited, where she will build commercial skills, relationships, and knowledge for business development.

In CSL’s Research Innovation team, Dr Thompson will spend her time identifying, evaluating, and supporting investment decision making of early stage, external research opportunities. Dr Thompson will also be part of CSL’s Global Licensing team to license new product opportunities and technologies.

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