More than 50 industry partners joined their SCMB staff colleagues for a School-sponsored breakfast at Hillstone, St Lucia Golf Links, 30 May, to hear the success story of UQ alumna Dr Roslyn Brandon.

Participants from private enterprise, government, research centres and secondary schools were welcomed by Head of School, Prof Melissa Brown, who showcased SCMB's research and teaching activities and encouraged attendees to explore opportunities for collaboration.

Dr Roslyn Brandon completed a BVSc and Phd at UQ and an MBA at QUT. She made a transition from animal health to human health when her research turned to the discovery and clinical validation of genomic and proteomic biomarkers, and the translation of these novel biomarkers into clinical diagnostic and monitoring assays for readily available platforms, including point-of-care.

Dr Brandon's company, Immunexpress, started operations in Brisbane and then moved to Seattle, USA and is looking to expand into Europe. Its current focus is on technology for use by critical care clinicians in hospitals for the improved personalised management of patients with, or at risk of, sepsis. Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by the immune system’s response to an infection and is one of the leading causes of death in hospital intensive care units.

The company's new testing product quantifies specific and multiple molecular markers from the patient’s own immune system (‘host response’) for earlier detection and severity assessment of sepsis, as well as the better timing of drugs and other therapies.

The well-received breakfast event was followed by a meeting of the School's Industry Advisory Board. The Board discussed progress in encouraging student placements in industry, promotion of the School's scientific facilities to external users, continuing and professional development activity and how to make it easier for industry to engage with the School. It also received a presentation by the leader of the School's Medicinal Chemistry research theme, Prof Istvan Toth, on current projects and the group's commercialisation success and potential.

Prof Brown said that the industry breakfast had built on a similar successful event in 2012.

"We attracted 65% more external guests this year and were inspired by Dr Brandon's story", she said.

"Dr Brandon subsequently met with a group of early-career researchers in the School and also had meetings with key staff."

Prof Brown said that the School was looking forward to continuing to build its collaboration with industry partners in teaching, research and community engagement for mutual benefit.

To view photos from the event, visit the Facebook album.


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