2019 a record year for Burnet: Annual Report released

Burnet Institute

21 August, 2020

2019 was “yet another stellar year” for Burnet Institute, according to Burnet Chairman Ms Mary Padbury and Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb AC in presenting the Annual Report.

Highlights include:

  • How our workforce responded to the many challenges caused by COVID-19 and kept vital life-saving medical research and public health programs on track
  • Burnet’s expertise in infectious diseases, health security and public health epidemiology was in high demand during the the response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Our researchers produced an Institute-record of 275 peer-reviewed publications
  • A record-breaking AUD$55.8 million was spent by Burnet on improving health outcomes for vulnerable communities, especially in our priority countries, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar and Australia
  • AUD$17 million in grants and fellowships received from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Burnet Chairman, Ms Mary Padbury said the Institute is in a “very sound” financial position because of those grants, the strong performance of 360biolabs, and vital philanthropic support from the Institute’s network of donors.

“I would like to thank all those who so generously support the Institute and our work, especially at this challenging time,” Ms Padbury said.

Ms Padbury also highlighted the role the Institute has played in the global response to COVID-19 and praised the speed with which staff have pivoted to tackle the pandemic.

“I am very proud of the enormous contribution the Institute has made to the global, national and local response to the pandemic, as well as all our ongoing non-COVID-19 work,” Ms Padbury said.

Professor Crabb also praised the Institute’s role in the COVID-19 response, including the development of diagnostics, antivirals and vaccines, and Burnet staff have provided support and advice to health authorities and governments in Australia and abroad throughout the pandemic.

“Our staff have been called upon by the Australian and overseas (particularly Papua New Guinea) Governments to advise on the best approach to tackling the pandemic, and how we move through this and out the other side in the knowledge that it will be some time before we have a vaccine and therapeutic drugs,” Professor Crabb said.

Professor Crabb congratulated the Institute’s staff for reaching key public health and laboratory research milestones, and said he is looking forward to preparing for the next five years.

“While we may have met many of our objectives, 2020 brings the start of a new phase for the Institute as we commence planning for the medium to longer term, through the development of a new strategic plan to take us to 2025 and beyond,” he said.

Other highlights for 2019:

  • Six Burnet students were awarded their PhDs.
  • Associate Professor Peter Azzopardi’s landmark study on global adolescent health was published in The Lancet.
  • The EVE-M project focusing on women’s sexual health and reproductive health, led by Professor Gilda Tachedjian, won a major competitive Medical Research Future Fund grant.
  • Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies commenced a new study designed to improve health services, especially antenatal, labour and birth, in East New Britain province in Papua New Guinea.
  • Burnet Institute Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC was acknowledged for his groundbreaking malaria research with the prestigious 2019 GSK Award for Research Excellence.

Click to read more about Burnet’s activities and achievements in the 2019 Annual Report.

Staff Member




Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Professor Brendan Crabb AC

Director and CEO; Co-Head Malaria Research Laboratory; Chair, Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)




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