November 17, 2016  Print

The Westmead Institute has marked another year of medical research achievement with its annual Discovery Night awards.

More than 150 staff, students, donors and supporters gathered in the Institute’s hall to see grants awarded to talented researchers.

The top prizes of the evening – the Westmead Institute Scientific Excellence (WISE) Awards – were given to three research teams for their respective published papers.

The team of Dr Mohammed Eslam, Prof Jacob George, Prof David Booth and A/Prof Golo Ahlenstiel received a WISE for their paper in Nature Communications on a liver disease gene discovery which has resulted in a new diagnostic tool being recommended for clinical use.

Dr Qi Cao and Prof David Harris were awarded for a paper in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology detailing a potential new therapeutic target for chronic kidney disease.

And the final WISE award went to the team of A/Prof Julianne Djordjevic and Dr Sophie Lev for their paper in mBio describing a novel way of targeting a fungal pathogen which causes meningitis. It was the second year in a row that Julianne and Sophie have won the top award.

Prof Tania Sorrell was given the honour of presenting the annual Castaldi Oration, using the occasion to talk about the history of infectious diseases and microbiology research at Westmead.

She paid tribute to the vision of the founding Professor of Medicine at Westmead Hospital, Prof Peter Castaldi, who was committed to research in the hospital from its opening in 1978.

Prof Castaldi gave a vote of thanks to Prof Sorrell, telling the audience how gratified he was to see medical research flourish at the Institute and across the Westmead Precinct.