Societal Benefits of Previous Innovations

28 Feb 2014
The University of Western Australia
Professor Robin Warren and Barry Marshall

Peptic ulcer disease has been a major medical problem in most countries of the developed world. In Australia alone, one in ten people might expect to suffer from ulcer disease over their lifetime. Ulcer medications could provide temporary healing, but 80% of patients would suffer a relapse within a year of stopping treatment. Thanks to the persistence of two Australian researchers, this is no longer the case. As has now been well documented, from 1985 to 1987, Perth based researchers Professor Robin Warren and Barry Marshall studied the use of antibiotics as treatment for ulcer. Their finding...

28 Feb 2014
The University of Queensland
Professor Ian Frazer

For 25 years Professor Ian Frazer has pursued an interest in development of vaccines to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and the estimated 500,000 annual deaths from papillomavirus related human cancers in the cervix and elsewhere. In 1985, with colleagues in Melbourne Professor Frazer demonstrated, at a time when the association of papillomavirus infection with cervical cancer was still contentious, that papillomavirus infection also contributed to anal precancer, particularly in men with immunosuppression as a result of HIV/AIDS. In 1990, Professor Frazer and his then...

28 Feb 2014
The University of Sydney
Professor Chapman

Researchers in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney have been at the forefront of tobacco control, and have contributed greatly to the declining usage of this dangerous substance in Australia and internationally. The research activity and public awareness is led by Simon Chapman, a life-long anti-smoking advocate, having been a founding member of the activist group “BUGA-UP” in the late 1970s, one of the people responsible for exposing the smoking industry cover-up about the adverse health effects of smoking. Professor Chapman is arguably Australia’s foremost tobacco control...

28 Feb 2014
Monash University
Looking through a microscope

Over the last four years the Women’s Health Program at Monash Universiy has made a significant contribution internationally to the understanding of the physiological role of testosterone in women. The research data generated by the program has underpinned the progression of this field in terms of clinical practice and drug development. The research output from this group has provided key information for the position statements of the North American Menopause Society (considered the peak professional body for midlife women’s health) and the US Endocrine Society. Furthermore, this body of work...

28 Feb 2014
UNSW Sydney
The University of Adelaide

Australia has a high prevalence of asthma and there is evidence that proactive management and care planning can improve health outcomes. In 2001, the Australian Government introduced the Asthma 3+ Visit Plan to better support asthma care. However, the model of care implemented had never been formally tested and participation in the program began to decline. University of NSW researchers collaborated with GPs to investigate why this was the case and found the major barriers to greater uptake were the complexity and administrative work of the program, as well as the requirement for a patient to...

28 Feb 2014
Rolf Zinkernagel and Peter Doherty

In 1973 Rolf Zinkernagel came from Switzerland to the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra, Australia, where he met Peter Doherty. Together they studied basic aspects of the immune defence against virus infections in different strains of mice. Their discoveries illustrate how findings within basic biological research can give rise to conclusions with wide implications for society and fundamentally new therapeutic approaches in clinical medicine. Doherty and Zinkernagel found that white blood cells - or more precisely killer T cells - from one mouse strain - recognise and kill...