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Top researcher receives fellowship

One of Queensland’s top researchers has received a boost of funding to continue work on improving bone marrow transplant success for leukaemia sufferers.

Queensland Institute of Medical Research’s (QIMR) Chair of Immunology and clinician Professor Geoff Hill has been honoured with one of the second round Senior Clinical Research Fellowships (SCRF) from the Queensland Government.

With more than 2,000 Australians diagnosed with leukaemia each year, the fellowship will enable Professor Hill to study new treatments that will improve transplant outcome.

Professor Hill said the fellowship would be beneficial to ongoing patient care as well as a boost for research in Queensland.

“This fellowship will enable the further development and trial of innovative cell and drug based therapies in a partnership between QIMR and the bone marrow transplant unit of the Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital,” Professor Hill said.

“Bone marrow transplantation is the most effective therapy for the majority of those with blood cancer.

“Unfortunately, this process can produce unwanted side effects including infection, or rejection of the healthy stem cells.

“Our research will investigate innovative therapies and ultimately aims to reduce fatalities and side effects associated with transplants for leukaemia sufferers.”

Professor Hill has a well established track record having published over 70 peer reviewed articles in the top international health and medical research journals. He was also awarded Queenslander of the Year in 2005.

The fellowships form a part of the $25 million Health and Medical Research Program. The SCRF awards up to $850,000 per annum for five years to cover salary and project costs.

A minimum of six fellowships under the SCRF program will be awarded between 2009 and 2012 as outlined in Research for a healthier future: 2020 Health and Medical Research and Development Strategy.