From the acting director

This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Spring ‘23
Professor Alan Cowman

It’s my pleasure to introduce the Spring edition of Illuminate, a celebration of our scientific progress and the incredible people who make it possible.

This is my first edition of Illuminate as acting director following the departure of Professor Doug Hilton AO, who finished in August following almost four decades of dedicated service to WEHI. Prof Hilton brought a new era to WEHI, growing collaborative programs across fundamental and translational research and accelerating commercialisation. His enduring legacy is captured in our feature story.

In this edition we also celebrate Associate Professor Misty Jenkins AO, who has received one of Australia’s highest civilian honours in wonderful recognition of her leadership and research discoveries.

Solving complex questions

In our cover story, WEHI researchers Associate Professor Michael Lazarou and Dr Thanh Nguyen have answered a long-standing question about the role of a protein in the body’s ‘garbage disposal’ system, that could lead to future treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

We also share new research into differences in lung cancer progression in smokers and non-smokers, in findings led by Associate Professor Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat and Professor Daniel Gray, and celebrate the launch of a new incubator that will kick-start biotech discoveries – a collaboration between WEHI, CSL and the University of Melbourne.

Beautiful technology

Each year, WEHI’s Art of Science showcases our research in an artistic light, demonstrating the beauty and ingenuity in biomedical science. Read about our 2023 winning entries and visit the online exhibition, which includes compositions from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Postdoctoral researcher Dr Raymond Yip also knows the power of images. He shares the magic behind his work in the imaging lab in our “Bright sparks” profile.

Essential support

In “Brighter together”, postdoctoral researchers Dr Julia Marchingo and Dr Toby Dite share first-hand how they’ve supercharged technology to dive deep into the T cell, in research funded by a generous bequest.

“Powered by philanthropy” features the wonderful families behind the Isabella and Marcus Foundation. From tragedy they are creating a legacy for young people with a rare and incurable brain cancer by raising funds to support our cutting-edge research.

You can also read about how Strathmore Community Bank Scholarships are supporting the next generation of WEHI scientists to pursue their research goals with important financial help.

First published on 11 September 2023
This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Spring ‘23
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