UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Deborah Terry (left), and UCSF Chancellor, Professor Susan Demond-Hellmann, touring UQ research facilities this week.
UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Deborah Terry (left), and UCSF Chancellor, Professor Susan Demond-Hellmann, touring UQ research facilities this week.
29 August 2011

A vision to more rapidly translate health research into breakthrough medicines for patients is the driving force behind talks held this week between Queensland’s ‘Smart State’ medical research institutes and one of the world’s top medical research universities.

A delegation from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) this week toured a number of Brisbane’s medical research and technology facilities at the invitation of Founding Chairman of The Atlantic Philanthropies, Mr Charles ‘Chuck’ Feeney.

The Chancellor of UCSF, Professor Susan D Desmond-Hellmann, and the CEO of UCSF Medical Center, Mr Mark Laret, spent three days touring Queensland ‘Smart State’ research facilities that have benefited from the support of The Atlantic Philanthropies.

The Atlantic Philanthropies has provided more than $AUD500 million in funding to Australia in the past 13 years, including in excess of $AUD250 million to Queensland. This support has helped build or expand 20 research facilities in Australia (13 in Queensland), with a built value of more than $AUD1.5 billion.

The tour included a visit to the construction site of the new $345 million Translational Research Institute (TRI), which received $50 million from The Atlantic Philanthropies and will be the first in Australia and the largest institute of its type in the southern hemisphere — and one of only a handful worldwide that can research, trial treatments and manufacture breakthrough drugs in one location.

TRI CEO and Research Director, and 2006 Australian of the Year, Professor Ian Frazer, discussed future collaboration opportunities with Professor Desmond-Hellmann during her visit.

TRI will draw together 650 researchers from its four partner institutions at the new facility to be located on the Princess Alexandra Hospital campus in Woolloongabba. The TRI partner institutions are: The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Queensland University of Technology’s Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, Mater Medical Research Institute and the Princess Alexandra Hospital’s Centres for Health Research. DSM Biologics will also be offering world-class contract manufacturing services combined with a leading edge bio-processing solution for mammalian biopharmaceutical products at TRI to assist in the translation of research.

During the visit, The University of Queensland – in association with The Atlantic Philanthropies – hosted a presentation by Professor Desmond-Hellmann to a select group of Queensland medical researchers and policy makers, titled ‘Health Sciences Innovation in the 21st Century’ on Monday, 29 August 2011.

Professor Desmond-Hellmann’s talk can be listened to by clicking on the link below.

Media: Kathy Grube, 0418 524 297.

About The Atlantic Philanthropies - www.atlanticphilanthropies.org
The Atlantic Philanthropies gives money to support a range of projects around the world, but in Australia the focus has been on supporting clinical and translational programs in cutting-edge research in health.

Partnering with Federal and State Governments and a number of universities, The Atlantic Philanthropies has helped with building, expanding or planning 20 research facilities in Australia with a built value of more than $1.5 billion. a full list of grants can be viewed at Atlantic Philanthropies website.

About the University of California, San Francisco – www.ucsf.edu
UCSF was founded in 1864, is one of 10 campuses of the University of California and is dedicated to health sciences research and teaching. It has a focus on biomedical research; offers postgraduate degrees in life sciences and health professions; and provides patient care at the UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. It employs 22,800 people, which makes it the second-largest employer in San Francisco, and it contributes an estimated $6.2 billion to the local economy. UCSF is ranked 17th in the world in the Academic Ranking of World Universities and ranked 2nd in the world for Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy.

About Professor Susan D Desmond-Hellmann – online biography
Professor Susan D Desmond-Hellmann was appointed as the first female Chancellor of UCSF in 2009. In November 2009, she was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the world’s seven most “powerful innovators”, and for seven years was listed among Fortune Magazine’s top 50 most powerful women in business. An oncologist and renowned biotechnology leader, Professor Desmond-Hellmann is internationally recognised for her work in developing some of the top cancer fighting drugs. Her work on Taxol, Rituxan, Herceptin, Tarceva and Avastin has saved countless lives. She was President of Product Development at biotechnology company Genetech for 14 years, during which time the company became the USA’s number one producer of anti-cancer drug treatments. Her passion is to make medical drug development faster and cheaper and she has some innovative ideas about translating drug research from the laboratory to patient treatments faster.