Industry Showcase event

Kelly Walton and Peter Chandler
Kelly Walton and Peter Chandler

The inaugural Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) Industry Showcase event was an opportunity not only to highlight the BDI’s industry engagement achievements for the year but also to network with an audience of influencers from pharmaceutical and biotech companies, Government, investment firms and Monash and external academics.

Held on 2 November, the Industry Showcase also shone the spotlight on some of our most industry focused early career researchers, providing an opportunity for five contestants to pitch their translational research in the finals of So You Think You Can Pitch?

Opening the evening's proceedings, Professor Mark Sleeman spoke briefly about the industry focus of the BDI and of its 2017 achievements.

Dr Charlie Day, the inaugural CEO of the Office of Innovation and Science Australia (OISA), also spoke at the event about the need to embrace new ideas in innovation and science, and to provide the support that is needed to get more treatments from bench to bedside. Innovation and Science Australia is an independent board responsible for advising the Australian Government on all innovation, science and research matters.

The fiercely competitive So You Think You Can Pitch? competition, sponsored by MTPConnect, Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) and the Monash BDI, followed.  An expert panel, comprising Dr Glenn Begley (BioCurate), Dr Laura Issa (AbbVie), Dr Andrew Gooley (Trajan Scientific and Medical) and Dr Kathy Nielsen (Monash Innovation), had the difficult job of selecting the winners. Congratulations to Dr Kelly Walton, who took out both first prize and the audience choice prize, and to Mr Peter Chandler, who received the runner-up prize.

Professor Ian Smith, Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure), congratulated the BDI “on running such a successful showcase around all that is good at the BDI, with a focus on efforts to translate high quality research into impactful outcomes”, adding “it was also impressive to see the number of distinguished outside guests”.

Be sure to watch Kelly and Peter's pitch videos below and start thinking about how your research has the potential to shape the nature of human disease ahead of 2018’s So You Think You Can Pitch? intake.

Dr Kelly Walton (First Prize & Audience Choice Prize) following the award of her PhD in 2008, Dr Walton now co-runs the Growth Factor Signalling Laboratory at Monash's BDI, where she engineers the body's transforming growth factors as human therapies. Kelly's pitch is entitled Inhibin therapy for postmenopausal bone/muscle loss.

Peter Chandler (Runner-up Prize) will be commencing his industry-focused PhD in 2018 at the BDI, and is aiming to develop an antibody-like platform, from an early engineering stage through to generating drugs and diagnostics. Peter's pitch is entitled Breathe easy: a cholesterol lowering inhaler, anti-PCSK9 monobodies.

About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.