Research achievements and challenges topics for Perron Institute Symposium

Innovation in research and translation for community benefit were the two themes of the very successful Perron Institute Symposium 2021. This well attended event, held at the University Club of WA in Nedlands, highlighted progress and opportunities in the institute’s research streams.

The sessions were structured in a way that enabled participants to explain their work to others in related fields as well as to a broader audience. As well as the informative and insightful presentations by research leaders, it was an opportunity to hear from some of the institute’s highly talented young researchers on their current projects.

In his welcoming remarks, Perron Institute CEO Steve Arnott spoke about the significant growth of the Perron Institute over the past five years. He talked about outstanding scientific achievements, partnering and collaboration, expansion of research and facilities and success in attracting high achieving neuroscientists, clinicians and students.

The first of the two keynote speakers was Professor Jeremy Nicholson (Australian National Phenome Centre (ANPC) and Pro Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences, Murdoch University). He spoke about the multi-organ effects of COVID-19, the enormous challenges of the pandemic and the work of the ANPC to better understand and mitigate the threat.

Professor Bruce Gardiner (Professor of Physics, Murdoch University) gave a fascinating and thought-provoking talk entitled Integrative Biology of Molecular Interactions and Tissue Remodelling. His research interest on understanding the ways cells communicate, how they modify tissue and how signals get to that tissue is relevant, he says, to understanding diseases such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, tendonopathy, colorectal cancer and acute kidney injury.

Overcoming the challenges of research translation was the topic of a roundtable discussion with Professors Samar Aoun, Melinda Fitzgerald, Minghao Zheng and Steve Wilton. This was facilitated by Dr Simon Towler, Intensive Care specialist, Fiona Stanley Hospital.

A highlight to conclude the symposium was the 2021 Perron Public Lecture delivered by Professor Merrilee Needham on the topic: Myositis research – changing the world one patient at a time.