Faculty members honoured for contribution to medical knowledge
The Hon Tony Abbott, Minister for Health & Ageing presents Associate Professor Barbara Fazekas de St Groth with a Centenary Institute certificate for her work in T Cell biology.
6 September 2007
Attending the Centenary Institute’s recent AGM, The Hon Tony Abbott, Minister for Health & Ageing presented University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine members, Professor Warwick Britton, Associate Professor Barbara Fazekas de St Groth and Professor John Rasko with Centenary Institute certificates for their work in immunology, T Cell biology and gene therapy respectively.
As well as being members of the Faculty of Medicine, the Professors head research programs at the Centenary Institute. The Centenary Institute, located between the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the University of Sydney, is one of Australia’s leading medical research institutes dedicated to developing better ways of diagnosing, treating and preventing major diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Professor Britton’s research published in the prestigious Journal of Immunology (2002 May 1; 168(9):4620-7) was the most Highly Cited paper published by a Centenary Institute researcher between 2002 and 2006. Professor Britton studies how the immune system controls infection with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the cause of human tuberculosis.
Associate Professor Barbara Fazekas de St Groth discovered a new way to identify particular types of immune cells called ‘regulatory T cells’ which appear to prevent the immune system from launching an attack against the body itself. Her work in this area has led to the development of a new blood test that can be used to identify people with abnormal regulatory T cells, who may be at risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, asthma and cancer. Associate Professor Fazekas’ back-to-back research reports in the [i||Journal of Experimental Medicine]] (2006 Jul 10; 203(7):1693-1700 and 1701-11) were the basic research papers with the highest Impact Factor published by a Centenary Institute researcher in 2006.
Professor John Rasko led ground breaking research in the area of gene therapy transferring healthy clotting factor genes into haemophilia patients’ livers through a harmless virus. His research published in the world renowned journal Nature Medicine (2006 May; 12(5):592) represented a breakthrough in the development of novel therapies for potentially thousands of genetic diseases. The research, involving cutting-edge basic science and clinical research, was published in the journal with the highest Impact Factor published by a Centenary Institute researcher in 2006.