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Dr Maher Gandhi wins prestigious ASMR award

QIMR scientist has won the 2010 Australian Society for Medical Research Queensland Clinical Researcher Award. The prestigious award was presented to Dr Maher Gandhi at the Australian Society for Medical Research’s Research Week Dinner held on Friday 4 June.

Dr Gandhi’s research team investigate the immunobiology of lymphoma, with a special interest in Epstein-Barr virus associated lymphomas.

“I am honoured to receive this award on behalf of my laboratory, in recognition of our work,” said Dr Gandhi. “Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a herpes virus that infects B cells and is implicated in a number of cancers, and we hope that our research can lead to a way to combat this deadly virus.

The World Health Organization has recently added to its list of lymphomas a new provisional entity, termed “EBV-positive Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma of the elderly”. Although this is an aggressive lymphoma with a dismal outcome, knowledge of the disease remains limited and awareness negligible. Dr Gandhi is researching new antiviral strategies for this lymphoma.

“What made the award so special was sharing the success with a student of my laboratory, Kimberley Jones, who won the Postgraduate Student Award for her work on T cells in post-transplant disorders. It was a great night for our research group.”

Dr Gandhi’s research will be presented at the BIT’s first World Congress of Virus and Infections 2010, at which he will Chair the session on tumour virology.

“I would like to congratulate Dr Gandhi for winning this prestigious award for his groundbreaking work on virus-related lymphomas. This award is a reflection of scientific excellence as researchers are judged by their peers,” said Professor Martin Lavin, Acting QIMR Director.

“We are delighted with the number of our QIMR scientists in the list of finalists, illustrating the high calibre of research being conducted at the Institute. I would like to thank the State Government for funding such a wonderful initiative for Queensland medical research.

“Congratulations also to the other QIMR finalists including Kate Markey and Dr Michael Smout for the Postgraduate Student Award, and Dr Manuel Ferreira and Dr Beben Benyamin, finalists for the Postdoctoral Researcher Award.”

The ASMR Medical Research Week® Dinner was held at 7:30pm Friday 4 June 2010 at the Sebel and Citigate Hotel, Brisbane.