The Road Home Invictus Pathways Scholarship

The Hospital Research Foundation in partnership with affiliate brand The Repat Foundation – The Road Home is proudly funding The Road Home Invictus Pathways Scholarship through The University of South Australia. Applications for this scholarship are now open, and will close on 31 July 2017.

The Invictus games were developed to harness the power of sport to help wounded, injured and sick service personnel physically, psychologically and socially by inspiring recovery, supporting rehabilitation, and generating a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country.

This project will explore the effect of participation in the Invictus Games© program on these personnel and aims to:

  1. Understand the health issues facing returned service personnel and their rehabilitation needs;
  2. Understand the experiences of the participants and their perceptions of the effect of involvement in the Games; and
  3. Conduct a prospective study to evaluate the impact of training for, and participating in, the Games on the psychological, social and physical health and rehabilitation from the service personnel and his/her support network’s perspective.

For more information on how to apply contact Deborah Williams at or call (08) 8302 2887.

TQEH/BHI 2017 Grant Round

Each year The Hospital Research Foundation proudly provides financial support to vital medical and clinical research teams and individuals whose endeavours translate into improved treatments and healthcare outcomes for the Australian community.

We are delighted to announce the recipients of THRF’s 2017 Grant Funding Round at the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research (BHI) and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH).

This grant is designed to support high community impact, “shovel ready” projects that have a high likelihood of translating into improved therapy, care or cure within 3 years from the start of the grant.

Professor John Beltrame.
Professor John Beltrame.

Potential Mechanisms and Treatment of Post-infarct Angina in Patients with Myocardial infarction with Non-Obstructed Coronary Arteries (MINOCA) $750,000

Professor John Beltrame, A/Professor Christopher Zeitz and Professor Bertil Lindahl are the successful recipients of our inaugural translational grant for $750,000 with a research project that will impact the lives of those living with chest pain following a Myocardial Infarction with Non Obstructive Coronary Arteries (MINOCA).

In the majority of heart attacks a completely or severely blocked artery is the culprit, which can be diagnosed by a coronary angiogram procedure. However, it has been shown that about 11 per cent of heart attacks have occurred even with fully open arteries or with minimal blockages. This condition is called MINOCA and there is limited knowledge about the heart attack cause and how these people can be treated. This research project will trial a new treatment for these patients who
experience debilitating chest pain after MINOCA.

This study will use established clinical registries – CADOSA in South Australia together with Prof Lindahl’s collaboration, the SWEDEHEART registry in Sweden.

This partnership is the first international collaborative clinical trial in MINOCA and the first clinical trial to assess treatments for patients with MINOCA.

THRF’s Development Grants support researchers to undertake health and medical research at the proof-of-concept stage that specifically drives towards a commercial outcome within a foreseeable timeframe.

Professor PJ Wormald.
Professor PJ Wormald.

A novel formulation to prevent epidural adhesions post-laminectomy $200,0000

Professor Peter-John Wormald, Associate Professor Sarah Vreugde and Professor Clive Prestidge have secured a THRF Development Grant to provide relief for patients undergoing back surgery, a common procedure in Australia. When a person undergoes back surgery, there is often adhesion formation following it. This is a big problem because these adhesions bind to the nerves that come out of the canal and that causes the patient to suffer from more pain then they were having pre-surgery. Prof Wormald and the team have developed a new treatment to prevent these adhesions from forming and this grant will allow them to progress their research into patients in a clinical trial .



Professor Eric Gowans.
Professor Eric Gowans.

The protective efficacy of a cytolytic DNA vaccine for HCV: a step towards human clinical trials $200,000

Professor Eric Gowans, Dr Danushka Wijesundara and Professor Guy Maddern are the second research group to receive a 2017 THRF Development Grant. This grant will enable the team to progress the development of a new DNA vaccine for Hepatitis C (HCV), which affects over 175 million people worldwide. In Australia, there are approximately 230,000 HCV infected individuals and approximately 10,000 new infections each year, estimated to cost $252M per annum in health care costs.

This year, we are delighted to award Fellowships to three outstanding researchers to conduct life-changing research at the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research.

2017 Mid-Career Fellow 

Danielle_Taylor_picInequalities in Neighbourhood Accessibility: Implications for Frailty and Healthy Ageing $420,000 (July 2017 – June 30 2020)

Dr Danielle Taylor, our 2017 Mid-Career Fellow will be funded for three years to conduct research that will ensure people in our community can live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives. Dr Taylor will join Professor Renuka Visvanathan’s research group and her research complements research work being undertaken as part of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing.

This research will aim to understand the influence of environmental factors, as enablers or barriers to healthy ageing. It will have a particular focus on the role geographic access and locational disadvantage plays in facilitating or impeding high functional ability. It will also develop an enhanced area level frailty risk index, incorporating geographic demographic information and accessibility measures of relevance to frailty. This can be used as a planning tool for the equitable and effective provision of health services.

2017 Early-Career Fellow

ASB1359_DAY1_P094 smallTargeted inhibition of inflammatory peroxidases, a new therapeutic strategy against breast cancer and metastatic disease $240,000 (July 2017 – June 30 2019)

Dr Vasilios (Bill) Panagopoulos, one of our two Early-Career Fellows, will be supported by THRF to continue his lifesaving breast cancer research. During his PhD under the supervision of Prof Andreas Evdokiou and Dr Mark deNichilo, Dr Panagopoulos made an important discovery, demonstrating for the first time that a group of proteins called peroxidases promotes breast cancer spread and metastasis. His research will now test a specific peroxidase blocker currently being investigated in other settings, which has not been previously contemplated for cancer therapy.

2017 Early-Career Fellow

Ashish_ShresthaThe development of a novel cytolytic DNA vaccine which elicits cellular immunity to conserved viral proteins $240,000 (July 2017 – June 30 2019)

Dr Ashish Shrestha, our second Early-Career Fellow will relocate from the University of Queensland to the Virology research group at the BHI. Dr Shrestha was awarded his PhD from the University of Queensland in September 2016 and his research and expertise include medical microbiology, public health and health services. His research will firstly develop a universal Hepatitis C vaccine to target the most common HCV genotypes and also examine the ability of the vaccine to help prevent ZIKA virus.

Professor Catherine Hill.
Professor Catherine Hill.

The Australian Arthritis and Autoimmune Biobank Collaborative (A3BC) $233,118 (July 2017 – June 2020)

Professor Catherine Hill, Associate Professor Maureen Rischmueller and Professor Lyn March have been succesful in a THRF Project Grant to support the Australian Arthritis and Autoimmune Biobank Collaborative (A3BC) following the Rheumatology Research Laboratory at the BHI being selected as the South Australian node for A3BC. This collaborative will enable high quality musculoskeletal disease research, resulting in better patient outcomes for the community.



Associate Professor Wendy Ingman.
Associate Professor Wendy Ingman.

Breaking immune tolerance in triple negative breast cancer $125,000 (July 2017 – June 2018)

Associate Professor Wendy Ingman, Professor Andreas Evdokiou and Mr Joseph Wrin are conducting a new research project to develop a new approach to breaking tolerance in triple negative cancer, a very aggressive subtype of breast cancer which is notoriously difficult to treat. Triple negative breast cancers make up 15 per cent of all breast cancer diagnoses. Development of a new treatment could be used in conjunction with existing treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy.



Professor Andreas Evdokiou.
Professor Andreas Evdokiou.

Using our own cancer fighting T cells to treat incompletely resected or inoperable tumours $125,000 (July 2017 – June 2018)

Professor Andreas Evdokiou, Professor Andrew Zannettino and Dr Anton Blencowe will undertake new research using our own cancer fighting T cells to treat incompletely resected or inoperable tumours. The aim of this project is to harness our body’s natural defence system to prevent cancer from coming back after it has been surgically removed or to treat those difficult to remove cancers. The team have developed a simple, cost effective, safe, and non-invasive injectable gel system of delivering the patient’s own cancer fighting T cells directly to the tumour site where they seek out and kill cancer cells in their tracks while leaving normal cells unharmed. The results of this approach will provide justification to move quickly towards clinical application.



Dr Ehud Hauben.
Dr Ehud Hauben.

Development of targeted nanoparticles as preventative therapy for liver metastasis $125,000 (July 2017 – June 2018)

Dr Ehud Hauben, Professor Nicolas Voelcker and Professor Guy Maddern’s project grant will build on previous research on prognostic biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets for prevention of liver metastasis. Now, in collaboration with Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the research team at the BHI aims to develop a novel preventative therapy against liver metastasis.

Approximately 50 percent of bowel cancer patients will be diagnosed with liver metastasis and the majority are not suitable for surgery. This project will be the first in Australia to focus exclusively on the development of a new therapeutic strategy for colorectal liver metastasis.



Dr Mark Mackay.
Dr Mark Mackay.

Identification of causes of access block for short-stay and long-stay patients at TQEH, and use of simulation to formulate wait-reduction strategies $72,000 (July 2017 – June 2018)

Dr Mark Mackay, Professor Robert Adams and Professor Nigel Bean’s will build on considerable overseas modelling in health system redesign and on previous local simulation modelling by Dr Mackay and Prof Adams at the RAH and TQEH. It aims to identify the main causes of waiting times for short-stay and long-stay services at TQEH and subsequently propose specific and appropriate wait-reduction strategies for these services.

This research will prove, at the local level, the benefits of using modelling and simulation to improve patient flow to significantly improve patient outcomes in hospitals.