Impact of institute cell death research recognised with citation award

30 June 2015
Key Researchers
Theme Leader
A team of Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers has been recognised for its outstanding contribution to international cell death research.
Associate Professor John Silke with computer
Associate Professor John Silke and colleagues have received the 2015
Thomson Reuters award for their research into cell death.

The researchers were today awarded the 2015 Thomson Reuters Citation Award in Molecular Biology and Genetics. The award recognises that the research papers published by the team in the past seven years have been the most frequently cited of any Australian researchers in molecular biology and genetics.

The researchers have all contributed to an understanding of the process of cell death, and their research has shown that defects in the molecules that control cell death are linked to diseases including cancer and inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease. Institute research has also underpinned the development and clinical trials of agents that promote the death of diseased cells.

Associate Professor John Silke, who accepted the award on behalf of the group, said Australian research had made many important contributions to the global understanding of cell death.

“As long ago as the 1960s, Australian Professor John Kerr was the first in the world to describe the process of apoptosis, a programmed mode of cell death,” he said. “The first evidence that apoptosis is under the control of specific proteins in cells came in the 1980s from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute research, and Australia has been at the forefront of cell death research ever since. 

“The award recognises the expertise our team has developed over several decades of research. As well as understanding how cells die, we have always focussed on using this knowledge to improve health, through developing agents that interact with the cell death machinery. One exciting outcome of this research has been that Australians with leukaemia were amongst the first in the world to participate in clinical trials of new potential anti-cancer agents,” Associate Professor Silke said.

The researchers whose work is recognised by the citation award are Associate Professor John Silke, Dr Holly Anderton, Professor Peter Colman, Dr Doug Fairlie, Professor David Huang, Dr Seong Lin Khaw, Dr Erinna Lee, Professor Andrew Roberts, Professor David Vaux, Professor Andreas Strasser and Dr James Vince. Associate Professor Silke holds a current joint appointment at LaTrobe University; Professor David Vaux and Dr James Vince conducted some of the research at LaTrobe University; Professor Peter Colman, Professor David Huang, Professor Andrew Roberts, Professor Andreas Strasser and Professor David Vaux hold professorial appointments at The University of Melbourne.

Further information:

Vanessa Solomon
Communications Adviser
P: +61 3 9345 2971
M: +61 431 766 715
E: solomon@wehi.edu.au

WEHI Authors
Theme Leader
Support us

Together we can create a brighter future

Your support will help WEHI’s researchers make discoveries and find treatments to ensure healthier, longer lives for you and your loved ones.

Sign up to our quarterly newsletter Illuminate

Find out about recent discoveries, community supporters and more.

Illuminate Autumn 2024
View the current issue