Alastair Stewart receives 2017 ARC funding for industrial Transformation Training Centre

Professor Alastair Stewart and several colleagues in the Therapeutic Technologies Hallmark Research Initiative have received funding for an Industrial Transformation Training Centre to develop the ARC Training Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies which will be a collaboration between University of Melbourne, Monash University, University of Western Australia and 15 partner organisations. The Centre will have its headquarters in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

The funding for the Centre includes $3.2m from ARC and in excess of $1M from partners including the Graeme Clarke Institute and industry-based collaborators.

The training will focus on developing entrepreneurial skills and providing experience in commercial settings. Collaboration with the MedTech and Pharma growth centre, MTPConnect through the MTPConnect funded “Accelerating Australia” program will further expand mentorship opportunities.

The Centre will train the next generation of biomedical researchers in the skills and technology which will enable early benefit from the transformative impacts that cell/organ-on-a-chip technology will have on the medtech/pharma industries. Advancing ineffective medicines into clinical trial costs vast sums of money and lost opportunities, as does using medicines that are ineffective in patients belonging to non-responding subgroups. The combination of microfluidics-based/real-time technologies and the use of individual patient’s cellular and molecular research findings, will enable personalised diagnostic and therapeutic decisions. A major goal will be to improve the selection of therapeutics for further investigation in clinical trial.

Alastair and his colleagues are one of three research groups at the University of Melbourne to have been awarded $10.5 million over five years for the development of Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centres

The establishment of these Centres at the University of Melbourne will:

  • provide opportunities for Higher Degree by Research candidates and postdoctoral fellows to pursue industrial training
  • will drive growth, productivity and competitiveness by linking to key growth sectors
  • will enhance competitive research collaborations between universities and organisations outside the Australian higher education sector