2014 - a year of highlights and records!

Angus Morgan

20 May, 2015

Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC has hailed 2014 as a year of highlights and records for the Institute.

Addressing the Institute’s 26th Annual General Meeting at the AMREP Theatre, Professor Crabb singled out the recently commissioned Nanjing BioPoint R&D laboratory in China as being among the very best of Burnet’s achievements.

The laboratory will utilise and adapt technology developed by Burnet to produce rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests to identify undiagnosed liver disease.

“China is going to be an important contributor as the years roll on to global relevance in medical research,” Professor Crabb said.

“This is a very deliberate initiative and the coming together of the Institute’s strengths and purposes … to access income from China and broaden our avenues for revenue.

“What we hope to do is make significant profit and to use that for public health and research activities, preferably in China where a very large proportion of the world’s extremely poor and vulnerable live, despite that country’s success in other areas.”

Other 2014 success stories included the emergence of Burnet’s Myanmar program whose 150 staff include a core of researchers with a strong focus on malaria; Burnet’s public health work in malaria in Papua New Guinea; and the PRONTO! rapid HIV testing facility in Melbourne.

“There are plenty of people in high-risk groups here in Victoria and throughout Australia who don’t know they’re HIV-positive,” Professor Crabb said.

“This (PRONTO!) is a response to what the barriers to testing are. It’s a work in progress, but it’s a very exciting activity that Burnet is a strong part of.”

Professor Crabb said Burnet had the second-highest success rate among administering institutions for NHMRC grants in 2014, and should be proud of its 216 peer-reviewed publications, as well as the contribution of its 54 PhD students.

“The publications are a record for Burnet and it’s a great credit to a staff that has not significantly increased in number; the output is just higher,” Professor Crabb said.

“And much of the best research that comes out of the Institute has a PhD student either driving it or involved. The students are drivers and contributors to Australia’s future.”

Professor Crabb said Burnet was in a “financially solid position” having turned over AUD$42 million in 2014, “towards our mission to improve the health of poor and vulnerable communities in Australia and abroad”.

“It was an incredible performance on behalf of all staff and students to reach that point, and especially the fundraising team who did a brilliant job,” he said.

“It was an extraordinary year both financially and programmatically.”

To view Professor Crabb’s address to the AGM in full, visit Burnet’s YouTube Channel.


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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