15 September 2015

A drug development project that combines the expertise of Pfizer and Institute for Molecular Bioscience researchers has been recognised at a University of Queensland awards ceremony. 

The Partnership in Research Excellence Awards, held last night (Monday September 14), are part of UQ's annual Research Week celebrations and recognise outstanding industry-UQ collaborations that benefit industry and the community.

Professors David Craik (pictured above on left) and David Fairlie from IMB are partnering with Dr Daniel Grant from Pfizer Australia (pictured above on right) to produce a new class of drugs by engineering peptide drugs to be taken as a tablet rather than via injection.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said UQ and its innovative industry partners were chipping away at Australia's woeful rates of industry-university collaboration, which are lowest in the OECD.

"It is important to demonstrate to Australian universities and industry that high-quality partnerships boost wellbeing and prosperity, because these partnerships drive the outcomes of excellent research towards the community.

"The winning projects demonstrate some of the multitude of benefits of partnerships, and make a compelling case that excellent research breeds high-impact outcomes, and that innovation is best achieved through teamwork."

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The Partners in Research Excellence Awards were co-hosted by UQ's commercialisation company UniQuest, which has helped make UQ innovations, such as the first cervical cancer vaccine, available to people worldwide.

Other awards went to Professor Victor Rudolph, School of Chemical Engineering, and Mr Christopher Dunks, Synergen Met Pty Ltd; Associate Professor Martie-Louise Verreynne, UQ Business School, and Steve Moorhouse, Department of Science, Information Technology & Innovation, Queensland Government; and Dr Esteban Marcellin, Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, and Dr Chris Stowers, The DOW Chemical Company.

UniQuest CEO Dr Dean Moss said the four award recipients were an excellent example of UQ’s research turning excellence into ‘excellence plus’ for industry.

“The relationships between these researchers and their industry partners have been formed over years of collaboration, cooperation and hard work,” Dr Moss said.

“It’s wonderful to see their efforts in finding innovative solutions for the advancement of industry recognised.”

Media: Nicole Cowan, UniQuest, n.cowan@uniquest.com.au, +61 7 3365 4037; or IMB Communications, communications@imb.uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 2134, 0418 575 247

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