Behind the Microscope: 2018 & 2019 Research in Review | RAH Research Fund

BTM Research in Review

We welcomed 180 guests to our event – ‘Behind the Microscope – 2018 & 2019 Research in Review’.

We were privileged to hear Professor Michael Brown, Professor Jane Andrews, Associate Professor Eddie Tse, Dr Maggie Killington, Dr Jason Powell, Dr Melissa Pitman and Dr Eugene Roscioli all share their insights on the progress of their research projects.

We would like to thank Professor John Beltrame, Professor Paul Reynolds, and all of the researchers for kindly donating their time. We would also like to thank Kate Dawes, Principal Social Worker SABIRS & Dean Fyfe, Family Member & Consumer Representative for their presentations to support Dr Maggie Killington’s presentation.

We’d also like to thank our donors, supporters and all of the guests for attending – it was a huge success!

You can watch a snapshot from each presentation below.


Rare Cancers

Professor Michael Brown
Director of the Cancer Clinical Trials Unit at the RAH and Head of Translational Oncology at the Centre for Cancer Biology

Aggressive brain cancer is a rare brain cancer affecting approximately 1,000 Australians each year. Importantly, brain cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease and kills more people under 40 than any other cancer. Prof Brown is embarking on a new kind of immunotherapy called chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy for adult and paediatric patients with aggressive brain cancers. In the laboratory, Professor Brown’s team has been engineering CAR-T cells from the blood of cancer patients to improve their cancer-killing properties. Once they are returned to the patient, the CAR T-cells can home to the site of the brain cancer and attack the cancer cells with the aim of shrinking the cancer. In clinical trials, his team will be testing the safety and utility of these new CAR T-cells in both adult and paediatric patients with aggressive brain cancers.​

You can watch a snapshot from Professor Michael Brown’s presentation below:

Please click here to support Professor Michael Brown’s research.


Gastroenterology and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Professor Jane Andrews
Head of IBD Services

Much of Prof Andrews’ research at the RAH is around optimising care models in Gastroenterology. Pioneering work is demonstrating benefits through providing a “trinity” for treating people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – proactive medical and surgical care, along with integrated psychological care. IBD predominantly affects younger people and includes Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis which cause inflammation, diarrhoea, bleeding, fatigue, abdominal pain, anaemia, malnutrition and can result in gut surgery or stomas. IBD management is often complicated by significant psychosocial factors due to the stress of an incurable lifelong disease, isolation, perceived stigma and embarrassment related to faecal odours and risk of incontinence. Integrated psychological care has been shown to benefit individuals with reduced levels of anxiety and depression with improved quality of life. Excitingly, benefits to the healthcare system are also now being seen with recent results showing reduced need for Emergency Department visits and reduced care costs only two years post intervention.

You can watch a snapshot from Professor Jane Andrew’s presentation below:

Please click here to support Professor Jane Andrews‘s research.


Chronic Liver Disease

Associate Professor Eddie Tse
RAH Head of Hepatology

Technology has shaped how we interact with the world through connecting people digitally. As we face an ongoing challenge to provide a quality and sustainable health system, we look to digital innovations for solutions to transform the way we deliver healthcare. HealthELink is a leading concept and innovative solution set to transform the way we deliver healthcare. The HealthELink study is a proof of concept, helping to streamline and optimise outdated models of medical care. Leveraging well established cloud based digital technology, it connects specialists with GPs using an innovative platform to co-manage conditions, previously only treated at teaching hospitals. We have shown in our first proof of concept condition, hepatitis C infection, that patients can be safely treated by relatively inexperienced GPs without the need for repeated hospital outpatient visits, all the while supervised by the hospital “expert” specialist. This proof of concept study, when implemented across various chronic illnesses, has the potential to free up precious hospital medical and nursing resources, whilst empowering both the GP and patient to optimise chronic medical disease management.

You can watch a snapshot from Associate Professor Eddie Tse’s presentation below:

Please click here to support Associate Professor Eddie Tse‘s research.


Acquired Brain Injury

Dr Maggie Killington
Coordinator of Research at the South Australia Brain Injury Rehabilitation Services (SABIRS)

Acquired Brain Injury is a sudden, traumatic and life-altering experience – not only for the person affected, but for their entire family. One moment families are normal and happy, the next they are fractured, vulnerable and confused. It has been reported that 46% of children of parents who have Acquired Brain Injury have high levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and 92% of families reported problematic behaviours. Dr Killington and the Principal Social Worker SABIRS, Kate Dawes, are co-designing resources with families for children and working with clinicians to provide the appropriate support for families to support them to adapt after a brain injury.

You can watch a snapshot from Dr Maggie Killington’s presentation below:

Please click here to support Dr Maggie Killington‘s research.


Q&A Panel 1

Watch a Q&A Panel featuring Professor Jane Andrews, Associate Professor Eddie Tse and Dr Maggie Killington hosted by Professor Paul Reynolds below:


Ovarian Cancers

Dr Melissa Pitman
Head of the Drug Discovery Unit within the Centre for Cancer Biology’s Molecular Signalling Laboratory

Dr Pitman is a RAH Research Fund Florey Fellow based at the Centre for Cancer Biology where her research focuses on identifying and testing new anti-cancer strategies for ovarian cancer. In ovarian cancer the imbalance of some lipids contributes to disease progression and chemotherapeutic resistance. Dr Pitman’s work is aimed at developing novel small molecule agents to target this Achilles heel in ovarian cancer for therapeutic benefit. Her work is supported by collaborations with Martin Oehler (Head of Gynaecological Oncology, RAH) and Professor Stuart Pitson (Centre for Cancer Biology).

You can watch a snapshot from Dr Melissa Pitman’s presentation below:

Please click here to support Dr Melissa Pitman‘s research.


Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Dr Jason Powell
Head of the Cancer Cell Signalling Unit within the Centre for Cancer Biology’s Molecular Signalling Laboratory

Jason Powell from the Centre for Cancer Biology has had a long interest in developing new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), the cancer that tragically cut short the life of golfer Jarrod Lyle. Current treatment options are chemotherapy and transplantation which has not changed since the mid-1980s. We have now developed new drug-like compounds that show considerable promise in advanced pre-clinical models of AML. These new targeted therapies will hopefully improve patient outcomes and mitigate the use of chemotherapeutics.​

You can watch a snapshot from Dr Jason Powell’s presentation below:

Please click here to support Dr Jason Powell‘s research.


Lung Disease

Dr Eugene Roscioli
RAH Chronic Inflammatory Lung Disease Research Laboratory

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) afflicts one in seven Australians over 40 years of age, and 1:3 over 75 , and is the third leading cause of death world-wide. A major contributor to COPD is respiratory infection by bacteria which are the primary factor that exacerbate symptoms and accelerate the disease. We are entering a future where current antibiotic therapies are becoming ineffective, and there is relatively little effort being directed to address this global health priority. The aim of our investigation is to develop an antibiotic that simultaneously eliminates the bacterial infection and improves the lungs’ own anti-bacterial defences. This innovative approach informs to a new standard of therapeutics to address COPD and restrict the formation of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

You can watch a snapshot from Dr Eugene Roscioli’s presentation below:


Q&A Panel 2

Watch a Q&A Panel featuring Dr Eugene Roscioli, Dr Melissa Pitman & Dr Jason Powell hosted by Professor Paul Reynolds below:


Are you interested in attending our next Behind the Microscope event?

Please click here to book or for more information about our next event.

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