MEDICAL RESEARCH WEEK – June, 2001

Griffith University’s Genomics Research Centre is hoping to highlight the health benefits of its research during Medical Research Week (June 3-9). The State Director of the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR), who is also Director of the Genomics Research Centre, Associate Professor Lyn Griffiths said Medical Research Week was aimed at providing information to the public about various aspects of medical research undertaken in Australia. “During the week we want to celebrate past and present successes in medical research and introduce the scientists, clinicians and students behind research,” Associate Professor Griffiths said. “We want people to know more about the benefits of medical research and how this can impact not only on our health, but also on our everyday lives.” The celebrations started last night (4 June) with a dinner at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, where this year’s ASMR Medallist, Professor Alan Bernstein, will address an audience of medical researchers and members of the public. The Canadian scientist is considered a world leader in medical research, renowned for his work on cancer, hematopoiesis and gene therapy. On Wednesday (6 June) post-graduate students involved in medical research – including Akchai Khieongoen, Albert Mellick, and Amanda Flood from Griffith University – will be presenting papers at a conference in the Wesley Hospital Auditorium. As part of the conference, some of the state’s most outstanding medical researchers will be rewarded with 2001 AMP Queensland Biomedical Research Awards. On Saturday (9 June) members of the public will be given the chance to have their questions answered at the ASMR Medical Research Expo in the Mount Ommaney Centre. They will have the opportunity to talk to some of the scientists working towards new treatments for a range of diseases. Prospective science students can also quiz the experts on career opportunities. Associate Professor Griffiths is encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in the week’s activities, because ultimately we are all the beneficiaries of advances in medical research. “At the Genomics Research Centre, for example, we have localised three genes involved in migraine and are also working towards identifying the genes involved in a number of human disorders, including multiple sclerosis,” Associate Professor Griffiths said. “Hopefully medical research will lead to new methods of diagnosing and treating these and many other human disorders.”

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