Monash University researcher receives prestigious Clunies Ross Award

Monash University Professor Jonathan Baell is among a team of Melbourne scientists that has been awarded the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) Clunies Ross Award for Knowledge Commercialisation.

The researchers, including Professor Anne Voss and Associate Professor Tim Thomas from the Walter and Eliza Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), have developed an entirely new and innovative approach to cancer treatment that essentially puts cancer cells to sleep, without the harmful side effects caused by conventional therapies.

The ATSE Clunies Ross Award for Knowledge Commercialisation recognises an individual or small team responsible for the discovery, development and adoption of a technology and for sharing their knowledge leading to commercialisation, for example by licensing, with a significant financially successful outcome.

Professor Jonathan Baell, Director of the Australian Translational Medicinal Chemistry Facility (ATMCF) in the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), said: “This research has been a decade in the making and has been made possible thanks to a strong collaboration between researchers and supporters who helped get us to this point.”

“Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, killing through unrestrained and abnormal cell proliferation. Our team has developed a new class of inhibitors which arrest that proliferation, without causing DNA damage. I would like to thank the ATSE for recognising our work through this notable award.”

Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC said the award is a great example of cross-disciplinary collaboration.

“Monash research continues to provide tangible outcomes and solve global health challenges. On behalf of Monash University, I extend my warm congratulations to Professor Baell and the team at WEHI for this well-deserved recognition,” Professor Gardner said.

The MIPS component to the research program is being driven by ATMCF, based at Monash University’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Parkville.

The ATMCF is a collaborative facility established to translate new discoveries in disease biology into targeted therapeutics for clinical development. The facility has been made possible by funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Therapeutic Innovation Australia through funding from the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy program funded by the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment.