Discovery research that could solve mysteries of the human immune system, leading to better malaria vaccines and treatments for chronic bowel disease, has received a boost from the 2022 CSL Centenary Fellowships.
Dr Michelle Boyle, of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute/Burnet Institute, and Dr Samuel Forster, of Hudson Institute of Medical Research, are the 2022 recipients of the CSL Centenary Fellowships, announced at the Academy’s Gala Dinner on 13 October.
The CSL Centenary Fellowships are worth $1.25 million over five years and awarded annually to two early-mid career medical researchers in Australia. As well as paying tribute to CSL’s origins, the fellowships are an integral part of how CSL delivers on our promise to help foster a thriving medical research community by supporting the development of Australian science.
Working to improve malaria vaccines
Dr Michelle Boyle has discovered how our immune response to malaria can be disrupted by the malaria parasite, reducing the effectiveness of vaccination in children in malaria-affected communities.
Now, with the help of the $1.25 million CSL Centenary Fellowship, she will work to bypass the parasite’s suppression of our body’s defences and boost our immune response to malaria. Her research may also help improve vaccines for other chronic diseases.
Modifying bacteria to treat inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic, painful, and disruptive inflammation of the lining of the gut. It affects about 130,000 Australians. Its cause is unknown, and it is incurable. Treatment involves expensive immune suppression that can have life changing side effects.
Dr Samuel Forster will use his $1.25 million CSL Centenary Fellowship to investigate the cause of IBD and open up new avenues for treatment. His team, at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, will apply genomics, computational biology, stem cells, and microbiomics, to answer fundamental questions about the immunology of the gut and its microbiome. His vision is to design safe and effective treatments for IBD.
The Academy warmly congratulates Dr Boyle and Dr Forster on their impressive achievements, and looks forward to following their career progress. Learn more about the CSL Centenary Fellowships and recipients.