Awards and Gifts

Pitch Night - HealthTech Innovation Challenge:  Professor Daniel Hoyer and the Sommivore Team

University of Melbourne Award 2017:  Emeritus Professor James Angus

Discovery Early Career Researcher Award - DECRA:  Dr Lincon Stamp

New grants for macular degeneration research:  Professor Erica Fletcher and Associate Professor Alice Pébay

New treatment for asthma receives fast-track funding: Professor Alastair Stewart

Brain Foundation Award: Dr Theo Mantamadiotis

Grimwade Medal for Biochemistry: Emeritus Professor Edwina Cornish

NHMRC Results: School Researchers

L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science award winners: Dr Deborah Williamson and Dr Jaclyn Pearson

Details of the awards are as follows:

Recipients Award Details
Professor Daniel Hoyer and the Sommivore Team Pitch Night - HealthTech Innovation Challenge

Congratulations to Professor Daniel Hoyer (Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics) and the rest of Team Somnivore, one of the four winning teams at the Pitch Night - HealthTech Innovation Challenge held at the GCI (Graeme Clark Institute).

Their project was  ‘Somnivore’ – a machine-learning platform for the automated analysis of sleep’.
Partner investigators were Giancarlo Allocca (who made the pitch presentation), Sherie Ma, Andrew Gunlach and LauraJacobson.

Congratulations also to our other finalist Professor Alastair Stewart (Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics).

Professor Emeritus James Angus University of Melbourne Award 2017

Congratulations to  Professor Emeritus James Angus as one of this year's recipients of the University of Melbourne Award.

Professor James Angus

Professor Angus was invited to take the Chair of Pharmacology in 1993 by VC David Pennington. 20 million dollars were allocated so that the top two floors of the Medical Building could be completed thus providing a permanent home for the Department of Pharmacology.

Bronze plaques interspersed along Professors Walk on the Parkville campus of the University of Melbourne acknowledge recipients of the University of Melbourne Award. See full listing of University of Melbourne Award Recipients.

Dr Lincon Stamp Discovery Early Career Researcher Award - DECRA

Dr Lincon Stamp from the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience has been awarded a prestigious Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) by the Australian Research Council for his work in understanding interactions between gut epithelial stem cells and neurons.

Dr Stamp is an Early Career Researcher in the Young Lab. Lincon and his team are researching the mechanisms that control the development of the enteric nervous system and the potential of cell therapy for treating diseases in this system.

The DECRA will allow Lincon to investigate the interaction between gut neurons and the epithelial stem cell compartment, as well as the relationship between age-related loss of enteric neurons and changes in gut epithelial stem cells.


The project will include novel co-culturing of organoids and enteric neurospheres, which will identify mechanisms by which nerves influence the epithelia. The outcome of the project will be a better understanding of the biology of the body’s most highly proliferative, long-lived stem cells, the intestinal epithelial stem cells.

Dr Stamp’s work could have significant long term impact on the quality of life in an ageing population.

Dr Stamp is an affiliate member of the Centre for Stem Cell Systems.

Professor Erica Fletcher and Associate Professor Alice Pébay New grants for macular degeneration research

The University of Melbourne researchers, Professor Erica Fletcher and Associate Professor Alice Pébay, were each awarded a Macular Disease Foundation Australia 2017 Research Grant.

Professor Erica Fletcher and Associate Professor Alice Pebay seen with their awards
Associate Professor Alice Pébay (extreme L) and Professor Erica Fletcher (extreme R) seen with their awards

Professor Erica Fletcher heads the Visual Neuroscience Laboratory in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience. Professor Fletcher’s project, titled ‘Targeting monocyte phagocytosis to reduce progression of age-related macular degeneration’ is a collaboration between The University of Melbourne and CERA. Building on Professor Fletcher's previous research, the new project will explore diagnostic tests to identify people at greatest risk of macular degeneration disease and then test new potential treatments to slow or stop disease development.

Associate Professor Alice Pébay is a member of Department of Surgery at Melbourne Medical School and leads the Neuroregeneration Research Unit at CERA. Her work looks at human pluripotent stem cells and what might make them develop into eye or nerve cells. The project, titled ‘Modelling geographic atrophy using human pluripotent stem cells’ is a collaboration between The University of Melbourne and The University of Queensland. It aims to better understand the mechanisms causing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and identify relevant new targets for treatments.

Alice Pebay and Erica Fletcher are affiliate members of the Centre for Stem Cell Systems.

Professor Alastair StewartNew treatment for asthma receives fast-track funding

Professor Alastair Stewart and his team at the Lung Health Research Centre in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics have received funding from the Victorian Government to fast-track a new technology to treat severe asthmas and other chronic respiratory diseases.

The technology involves an inhaled casein kinases 1 inhibitor that will reduce the number and severity of episodes of worsening asthma.

The Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund has invested $3 million into 13 new projects to fast-track the translation of early stage health and medical research into everyday clinical practice and patient care.

Dr Theo Mantamadiotis Brain Foundation Award

The Award was presented in Sydney on 9th October '17.  Dr Martin Tymms received the award as Theo was away on annual leave.

Theo received this award for an investigation that he has undertaken 'Better Drugs for Brain Cancer' and received $30,000.00 for this research from the Brain Foundation.

Emeritus Professor Edwina CornishGrimwade Medal for Biochemistry

The Grimwade Medal for Biochemistry public lecture was held on Thursday 16th November.  The 2017 medal awardee was Emeritus Professor Edwina Cornish who has had a long and distinguished career, beginning with a PhD undertaken in the Biochemistry and Microbiology Departments of the University of Melbourne.  One attendee commented that Edwina’s lecture was “one of the most touching and insightful award presentation lectures”.

(L-R)Professor Paul Gleeson, Sir Andrew Grimwade, Emeritus Professor Edwina Cornish, Professor Ian van Driel, Professor Fabienne Mackay)

This award is funded by the Russell and Mab Grimwade Miegunyah Fund to promote the discipline of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology by attracting a stellar, internationally-recognised leader in this field.  In a delightful twist, it transpired that Edwina’s grandfather and Sir Russell Grimwade were lifelong friends so the Department was especially honoured to have Sir Andrew Grimwade present the medal to Edwina.

The lecture can be downloaded via the following links:

Vodcast Playback:

Podcast Playback:

School ResearchersSBS NHMRC

The School was successful with 26% of its applications in the current NHMRC grant round which is well above the national average.

Congratulations to the following School members on their successful NHMRC Project Grants, Program Grant and Partnership Grant:

Program Grant:

  • Prof Stephen Kent, Microbiology & Immunology

Partnership Grant:

  • Prof Ben Howden, Microbiology & Immunology

Project Grants:

  • Anatomy & Neuroscience
    • Prof Erica Fletcher (x2)
    • Dr Jenny Gunnersen
    • Dr Jason Ivanusic
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
    • Dr Michael Griffin
    • Prof Malcolm Mcconville
    • Prof Leann Tilley
  • Microbiology & Immunology
    • Prof Francis Carbone
    • Dr Daniel Fernandez-Ruiz
    • Prof Dale Godfrey
    • Prof Fabienne Mackay
    • Dr Jaclyn Pearson
    • Dr Daniel Pellicci
    • Prof Patrick Reading
    • Prof Tim Stinear (x2)
    • Dr Linda Wakim
    • Dr Deborah Williamson
  • Pharmacology & Therapeutics
    • Assoc Prof Peter Crack
  • Physiology
    • Prof Gordon Lynch
    • Prof Mary Wlodek
Dr Deborah Williamson and Dr Jaclyn PearsonL’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science award winners

Microbiologists Dr Deborah Williamson, based at the Doherty Institute, and Dr Jaclyn Pearson, an alumna now at the Hudson Institute, have been awarded 2017 L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Fellowships.

The fellowships were launched in 2007 and have recognised 31 outstanding local scientists, supporting them to continue their research and help them rise to leadership positions in their field of expertise. Each fellow is awarded $25,000 for a one year project. This is intended to provide practical help for the winners to undertake research in their chosen fields and the winners may choose to spend their fellowship on buying scientific equipment, paying for child care costs, conference and travel costs or other items they may need to continue their research.