2016 Year in Review: July to December

Burnet Institute

20 December, 2016


Burnet Institute’s Professor Margaret Hellard was awarded an AUD$1.2million NHMRC Partnership Project Grant to lead research aimed at significantly reducing the burden of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Australia.

Burnet Institute and ARTES Biotechnology announced they had joined forces to develop a novel, effective vaccine to prevent transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV).


A Burnet Institute review commissioned by BMC Medicine, led by Professor James Beeson, found that Zika virus was likely to be far more widespread than imagined, and its full impact would not be clear for decades.

Burnet Institute Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC was named one of the Australian Financial Review’s BOSS Magazine’s 20 True Leaders of 2016, honoured for his advocacy for Australia’s $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund.

Burnet’s 2016 Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll survey of more than 1000 Australians aged 15-29 found that young people who viewed pornography acknowledged both negative and positive aspects to the practice. Eighty percent of male participants admitted to intentionally watching pornography daily, almost daily or weekly over the past year.


Head of Burnet Institute’s Malaria and Infectious Disease Epidemiology Group, Associate Professor Freya Fowkes won the prestigious 2016 Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science.

Deputy Head of Burnet Institute’s Centre for Biomedical Research, Associate Professor Heidi Drummer was recognised with the Institute’s prestigious Frank Fenner Award for her landmark research into hepatitis C.

Burnet farewelled one of its long-serving and groundbreaking HIV scientists, Head of the HIV Neuropathogenesis Laboratory Associate Professor Melissa Churchill, who took up a research-only Professorial position at RMIT after 27 years with Burnet Institute.


Burnet Institute Associate Director Professor Suzanne Crowe AM was honoured by the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) by being named on the ‘IAPAC 150’ list for her contribution to the association’s mission over 30 years.

Burnet Institute unveiled an ambitious new strategic blueprint, Burnet 2020, to transform Burnet into a program-led organisation and enhance the institute’s unique approach of linking medical research to practical action.

Burnet Institute researchers shared in $190 million for 320 health and medical research grants awarded through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). This included a $100 million investment in fostering career development.

The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO inspired a packed audience at the 2016 Burnet Oration in Melbourne with a message that medical research could improve life for the world’s poorest people.


Burnet Laboratory Head and malaria researcher Dr Jack Richards was the inaugural winner of a new Burnet Institute award, The Gust Translational Fellowship.

Burnet Institute’s founding Director, Professor Ian Gust AO was awarded Research Australia’s prestigious Peter Wills Medal for 2016 in recognition of a lifetime of extraordinary commitment to medical research and public health.

Burnet Institute launched a new strategy to eliminate the four major diseases – HIV, malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and viral hepatitis – that disproportionately affect vulnerable communities in Australia and our region.


Infectious diseases physician and clinical researcher at the Alfred Hospital and Burnet Institute, Associate Professor Edwina Wright told the state’s World AIDS Day launch that HIV had not gone away in Victoria, with 290 Victorians learning they had the virus last year.

Burnet postdoctoral researcher Dr Sarah Charnaud sailed from the southern tip of Argentina on the largest ever all-female expedition, called Homeward Bound, to Antarctica, aimed at increasing representation of women in top science jobs worldwide.

Burnet Institute researchers were awarded more than $7.5 million in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grants, partnerships and fellowships grants for 2017. Professor Gilda Tachedjian was awarded a Research Fellowship valued at $706,370.

Contact Details

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

Paul Rathbone

Executive General Manager, Public Affairs & External Relations




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