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Simon

Simon Corrie

Year of Award: 2018 Award State: Victoria Health And Medicine > Cancer And Oncology
The Leslie (Les) J. Fleming Churchill Fellowship to undertake expert training in pre-clinical evaluation of implantable sensors for cancer diagnostics - USA
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Conclusions and Recommendations:

In conclusion, my Churchill Fellowship journey involved me spending 4 months receiving expert training in NIR imaging and spectroscopy for the purpose of importing these methods into my research group. While I am confident now that we can select the equipment we need for a significant and rapid improve in our research output, there is still a great deal to learn about how our key materials (proteins, nanoparticles, etc) can be incorporated into NIR imaging workflows. Beyond technical issues, the realisation of the need to upskill undergraduate researchers is particularly significant, and we will be looking to improve outcomes here in the near future, particularly aiming to secure external funding over the next 12 months. 

Key recommendations from my Churchill Fellowship journey are listed below:

  • Universities in Australia should look at ways to fund salaried part-time research positions for motivated undergraduate students in order to upskill these students in generic research skills prior to the commencement of postgraduate research training.
  • The emerging field of in vivo biosensing is likely to bring about translational outcomes for clinical diagnostics and therapeutic monitoring, and Australia is well-poised to capitalise on this because of the strong background in biomedical sciences and engineering. The IVBN is one such vehicle that we should use to attract funding, interactions with industry and government. An annual conference is a concept that we should work towards in order to strengthen ties both within and beyond our community.
  • As developers of novel biomedical tools, we need to forge closer ties to local equipment manufacturers in order to translate our research into real-world tools. The Heller group has done this successfully with local manufacturers including Photon, Etc. 
  • As biomedical engineering researchers, our projects could be driven by the needs of end-users (clinicians, bio/medical scientists, companies, governments, patient groups), rather than by our own understanding of the biomedical sphere. This requires early and broad engagement with identify good collaborative partners who appreciate our capabilities and are willing to work towards blue-sky outcomes. 

Keywords: In vivo biosensing, near-infrared (NIR), bioimaging, cancer diagnostics, biomarkers

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