Publish Date: 
Thursday, December 1, 2022 - 09:15

TRI turns 10 

TRI has marked 10 years since the first staff from research partners The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Mater Research and Metro South Health began to move into the building.

Since opening its doors in 2012, the Institute has become one of the largest translational medical research institutes in the southern hemisphere, bringing together researchers, clinicians and industry to advance medical discoveries that lead to a healthier world.

“The opening of this Institute was a major achievement and milestone, and there have been many other achievements since the doors opened 10 years ago, including exciting world-first scientific discoveries and breakthroughs, from Vaxxas’s development of a needle-free vaccination patch to innovative cancer treatments,” TRI’s CEO Professor Scott Bell said.

The annual OneTRI Awards on 1 December formed an important part of TRI’s 10-year anniversary celebrations, bringing together staff and students from across the TRI community to celebrate TRI-based achievements and to acknowledge and thank the Institute’s long-serving staff.

“This month as TRI turns 10, we’re celebrating all the people who have helped to get TRI to where it is today and are at the heart of our success over the last decade,” TRI Board Chair Emeritus Professor David Siddle said.

“The fact that more than 90 people have been at TRI since the beginning is testament to the institute’s research strengths, and the community we have built here.”

TRI's Top Ten Translational Achievements

As part of the anniversary celebrations, the TRI community was invited to celebrate the Institute’s many impactful discoveries and innovations by nominating the most significant translational achievement by a TRI-based researcher, clinician, or commercial/industry group over the past 10 years. 

The nominations were voted on by a cross-partner selection panel and TRI's Top 10 Translational Achievements were announced at the OneTRI Awards ceremony.

“Many worthy nominations were received, and the 10 achievements are not ranked in any particular order but demonstrate the exceptional calibre of research at TRI,” Professor Bell said.

Congratulations to the following research and industry teams:

Elizabeth Williams and colleagues Erik Thompson, Euan Wallace, Penny Jeffery and investigators for establishing the Centre for Personalised Analysis of Cancers network and advancing organoid culture systems, demonstrating utility in improving outcomes in bladder cancer patients.  

Peter Soyer and collaborators Monika Janda, Liz Payne, the broader ACEMID team and staff from the Dermatology Research Centre. The group was selected for their clinical implementation of VECTRA imaging technology for early detection of melanoma in high-risk patients.

Ingrid Winkler, along with industry partner GlycoMimetics, for developing Uproleselan, which is in Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia.

Chamindie Punyadeera and collaborators Liz Kenny, Sarju Vasani, Martin Batsone and Yen Kai Lim for developing a world-first FDA-approved oral saliva throat cancer diagnostic test, CancerDetect TM

Maher Gandhi and Colm Keane for ground-breaking discoveries in the immuno-biology of viral and non-viral-associated lymphomas, which led to a new treatment for these lymphomas that has been successfully used and is currently being further evaluated in national clinical trials. 

Microba Life Sciences, and in particular, Microba’s founding team, including Gene Tyson, Philip Hugenholtz, Nicola Angel and David Wood.

Paul Dawson and colleagues, with the support of Elizabeth Hurrion, for demonstrating the importance of sulphate in neonatal brain development, which led to a world-first test now available for routine clinical use. 

Ranjeny Thomas and colleagues for developing an immunotherapeutic patent and partnership with Janssen Biotech on a Phase 1 clinical trial of the first antigen-specific tolerising immunotherapy in rheumatoid arthritis.

The Vaxxas team for developing a high-density microarray patch technology with the potential to transform vaccination by applying vaccines to the skin using a small patch.

Yousuf Mohammed, Jeff Grice, Sarika Namjoshi and Michael Roberts, as well as Xin Liu, for their work with the US FDA improving access to affordable topical medications by revolutionising regulation of generic products.

At the event, staff from the TRI community who have consistently exemplified the TRI values and contributed to a OneTRI culture in the last 12 months were also honoured. Congratulations to:

  • EMCR committee (including Lisa Philp, Mark Adams, Erin McMenamin, Giorgia Mori, Kavita Bisht, Lauren Aoude, Ra’eesa Doola, Ran Wang, Sonia Henriques, Julia Renaud and Benedette Watson)
  • Ryan Galea
  • Lisa Philp
  • Maria Wojciechowski
  • First five graduates of TRI’s Translational Pathways program (Mark Adams, Kristen Radford, Jenni Gunter, Arutha Kulasinghe and Aideen McInerney-Leo)
  • Kristen Radford
  • Mark Adams

“Thanks to all the TRI-based researchers, clinicians, students, support staff and start-ups who have contributed so much to our ecosystem. We look forward to more big successes in the next decade,” Professor Bell said.