Faculty Award for Research Enterprise

The award celebrates successful, enduring partnerships with industry, government and other organisation. This award is for researchers who have achieved, or are achieving, excellence in innovation and enterprise.

2019 Bernard Flynn

Bernard Flynn has developed a new research program in the area of Chemical Biology. A focus of his Chemical Biology studies is in the design of a biased library of non-lipid sphingolipid mimetics (NLSMs) to probe sphingolipid biosynthesis and signalling.

Bernie’s group have been the first to identify that a specific enzyme in the sphingolipid biosynthesis pathway that can be targeted for therapeutic benefit in fibrotic disease. They have also developed the first low nanomolar inhibitors of this target.

To further the translational impact of this research, Bernie led a commercialisation effort culminating in the start-up company Cincera Therapeutics. Cincera has been founded to develop a first-in-class sphingolipid-targeting antifibrotic for clinical development. Stuart Pitson (UniSA) has been a collaborator of Bernie’s over the last 7 years and Cincera is a joint venture between Monash and UniSA (Monash 85%; UniSA 15% equity). In an investment deal with the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) Cincera has secured $7.0M for lead optimisation and preclinical development of its new therapy.