Burnet Institute Patron-in-Chief, Her Excellency The Hon Linda Dessau AM, Governor of Victoria and Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC
Burnet Institute Patron-in-Chief, Her Excellency The Hon Linda Dessau AM, Governor of Victoria, has visited Burnet for the first time to meet with our leading scientists, public health researchers and management team.
Burnet Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb AC hosted a tour of Burnet’s state-of-the-art laboratories where the Governor met with HIV, malaria and diagnostic development scientists from the Centre for Biomedical Research who explained their latest work.
The Governor was also briefed on key initiatives being undertaken locally and internationally by public health researchers from Burnet’s Centres for International Health and Population Health.
Professor Brendan Crabb welcomed the Governor’s strong interest in discovering more about the broad range of innovative laboratory and public health research underway at the Institute.
IMAGE: Burnet researcher Andrew Guy demonstrates an automated platform for dispensing patient antibody samples for analysis.
“We greatly appreciate the Governor’s keen interest in our medical research and public health work, and her commitment today to meet personally with our scientists who are leaders in the fields,” Professor Crabb said.
“Burnet is deeply committed to achieving better health outcomes for poor and vulnerable communities and the Governor greatly appreciated the opportunity to hear about how we are achieving that in Australia and overseas.”
During the laboratory tour, the Governor enjoyed a rare opportunity to view malaria parasites infecting red blood cells in real time under a special microscope.
Dr Paul Gilson explained his innovative research, which includes filming the invasion of red blood cells by the parasite.
IMAGE: The Governor inspects Burnet’s Diagnostics Laboratory.
By blocking different proteins the parasite uses for invasion and observing what happens to the parasite, Dr Gilson’s team can, for the first time, establish what the proteins are doing, which is an important step towards vaccine development.
The Governor was especially interested in the work being undertaken by the Anderson Diagnostics Laboratory to develop new techniques for disease diagnosis in disadvantaged settings where access to laboratory infrastructure, safe transport and communication are lacking.
Senior Development Scientist, Mary Garcia demonstrated Burnet’s breakthrough VISITECT® CD4 test which could markedly improve the health of HIV-infected individuals in resource-constrained settings, including pregnant women and their infants. It is currently undergoing field testing in Zimbabwe and India.