Industry fellowship to help translate research discoveries into the clinic

21 November 2022

QIMR Berghofer Business Development Associate, Dr Sam Harley, has been awarded a prestigious REDI Fellowship to work with global biotechnology company CSL. The fellowship will further his skills in commercialisation to help accelerate the translation of QIMR Berghofer’s research discoveries into new therapeutics to improve patient outcomes.

Dr Harley is one of only 16 Fellows announced in the latest round of the Researcher Exchange and Development Within Industry (REDI) Fellowship program awarded by MTPConnect via funding from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

The highly sought-after industry placements connect researchers, clinicians and professionals with medical technology and pharmaceutical companies to work on priority research projects to help grow the Australian life science sector.

Dr Sam Harley

Dr Harley will join CSL’s global Research External Innovation (REI) team where he will undertake a 12-month project to identify, evaluate and support investment decision making of early stage, external research opportunities to help build CSL’s pre-clinical R&D pipeline.

Working closely with CSL’s European REI team, Dr Harley will gain an understanding of which translation models are being successfully applied by large tech transfer organisations, universities and venture capital investors, and ultimately bring this knowledge back to Australia.

“I’m excited to gain this international industry experience with CSL. The REDI Fellowship will transfer industry expertise to QIMR Berghofer to help accelerate the translation of our scientists’ incredible research discoveries into new therapeutics for patients,” Dr Harley said.

Taking research from the early laboratory stage, through pre-clinical and human clinical trials, and into everyday use by patients is a difficult, time-consuming and expensive process. The average drug takes between 10 to 15 years to reach the market and needs more than $1 billion USD in investment.

“Collaborations with industry partners like CSL are essential for QIMR Berghofer to deliver new therapeutics to patients. Without that industry expertise and investment, the drugs our scientists are developing will sit on shelves rather than helping patients,” Dr Harley said.

Since 2020, QIMR Berghofer has invested more than $3 million into early-stage therapeutic and diagnostic research programs through its commercialisation fund Q-Accelerator. CSL’s Dr Marthe D’Ombrain (Senior Director and Head of Global Research Innovation) and Dr Adriana Baz Morelli (Senior Director and Transplant Therapeutic Area Research Lead) are Q-Accelerator Panel members and play a key role in advising on investment of the Q-Accelerator Fund into translational research.

“The REDI Fellowship will further strengthen QIMR Berghofer and CSL’s existing relationship and collaborations, and is a great example of QIMR Berghofer’s commitment to working with industry,” Dr Harley said.

QIMR Berghofer’s success in translating impactful research into better health outcomes is made possible by a dedicated and talented team of professionals in the Business Development unit, like Dr Harley, who guide the Institute’s scientists in their drug development journey and lead commercialisation activities such as negotiating license and investment deals with pharmaceutical companies and venture capital investors.

The REDI Fellowships are supported by MTPConnect’s Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

For more information on collaborating with QIMR Berghofer, please contact the Business Development team here.


Bridie Barry
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M +614 2859 2194