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Direct from Doug

This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Summer ‘22
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Professor Doug Hilton AO
Introduction

Welcome to a bright and festive summer edition of Illuminate. We have many reasons to come together and celebrate at WEHI as 2022 draws to a close.

The recent launch of our annual Art of Science exhibition allowed us once again to marvel at the beauty of the images produced by our researchers as they work to unravel complex health problems.

As well as inspiring new audiences with our work, Art of Science reminds us there’s more to science than numbers and data: imagination and creativity are also essential elements of the research and discovery process.

You can read all about the prize-winning entries in Art of Science 2022, and see all 20 finalists’ images in the wonderful online exhibition.

In research news, Professor Marco Herold’s team has shown that new genome editing technology can be used to model human diseases that have never been replicated before, paving the way for identifying new drug treatments.

And we report on exciting new evidence from a preclinical WEHI study showing that treatment with an established and accessible class of drugs can prevent coronary artery damage in Kawasaki disease, which affects very young children.

Across generations

Art of Science also illustrated the extraordinary continuity of research at WEHI and how it brings together researchers across multiple generations. In Brighter together, Art of Science Moving Image winner and PhD student Kelin Zhao and Emeritus Professor Jacques Miller AC discuss their shared interests in the thymus, spanning 60 years of pioneering research.

We celebrate the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences awarding its Jian Zhou Medal to WEHI’s Professor Sant-Rayn Pasricha, for his work on prevention and treatment of anaemia around the world. Bright sparks profiles Dr Bekky Feltham whose laboratory is using new technologies to identify promising drug targets for cancer and inflammatory diseases, with the aim of bringing safe and effective new treatments to patients faster.

Bittersweet

Most of us look forward to spending time with family over the summer holiday break, but we know this can be a bittersweet experience when a loved one has dementia. In our Powered by philanthropy pages, WEHI consumer advocate Julie Smith tells the moving and at times confronting story of her late father Syd’s dementia, highlighting unmet needs that drive WEHI’s multi-disciplinary dementia research program led by Associate Professor Nawaf Yassi and Associate Professor Rosie Watson.

Best wishes to you and yours for a safe and happy holiday season.

Doug

First published on 15 December 2022
This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Summer ‘22
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