Equity Trustees' Partnership

Supporting Mater Research

Mater is proud to be an inaugural partner in the Equity Trustees’ Medical Research and Health Partnership Program. The unique support offered to Mater by charitable trusts— managed by Equity Trustees—is making a difference like never before by supporting medical research. 

Over the past three years the Equity Trustees’ Medical Research and Health Partner Program has been a key enabler for Mater Research to produce high quality results in:
•    delivering impactful outcomes in research aligned to areas of unmet community need;
•    capacity building for future leaders, through recruitment and retention of research staff, particularly early career researchers and emerging leaders; and
•    closing the gender equity gap.

In the three years supported by this funding, Mater used linkages initiated through Equity Trustees to deliver on the intent behind the program.  

We sincerely thank Equity Trustees and their philanthropic trusts for supporting vital medical research at Mater and for its commitment to improving the lives of so many Australians.  

We look forward to sharing the exciting research outcomes that will be uncovered over the next few years thanks to Equity Trustees’ investment.  

As part of the Equity Trustees and Mater partnership, the following Mater researchers have been awarded funding in year three of the grant: 

Dr Felicity Davis

Equity Trustees Senior Cancer Fellow

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Dr Felicity Davis is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellow and Senior Research Fellow at Mater Research. She heads the Breast Physiology and Cancer Group. Felicity believes that the key to unlocking the mysteries of breast cancer lies in our understanding of normal breast development and the cellular and molecular changes that occur in breast tissue during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Her research has already uncovered some of the key pathways governing 'life and death' decisions in the breast under normal conditions. 

Dr Patricia Carreira Moreno

Equity Trustees Mid-Career Research Fellow 

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Dr Patricia Carreira Moreno is a Senior Researcher in the Genome Plasticity and Disease Research Group at Mater Research.
Patricia is exploring what makes cancer spread. This research is vital, because survival rates for cancer are linked to the stagte of the cancer at diagnosis.  
If she can determine exactly what makes a cancer worse, she may be able to identify who is at risk of getting a more aggressive cancer, as well as potential new treatments that could be used. This would then help inform how the patient is treated by their doctor, and what their treatment course would look like. 

Read more about Patricia. 

Associate Professor Kristen Radford

Mater Research Strategic Grant for Outstanding Women

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A/Prof Kristen Radford is a Principal Research Fellow at Mater Research and leads the Cancer Immunotherapies Research Group. 
The immune system is our body’s own defence system that protects against infection. It can also be trained to recognise and destroy cancer. Treatments that harness the immune system in this way are known as immunotherapies. 

Read more about Kristen. 
 

Dr Katharine Irvine

Macrophage Biology Research Group

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Dr Katharine Irvine is a Senior Research Fellow and a Career Track Fellow at Mater Research, working in the Macrophage Biology Research Group.

Dr Irvine is passionate about understanding how the liver functions, and the key players in the development of chronic liver disease and its complications. 

At Mater Research, Dr Irvine is developing research projects that investigate the role of macrophages (a type of white blood cell) in chronic liver disease, as well as working on new collaborations in other chronic diseases with clinical teams at Mater hospitals.

Read more about Katharine.

Dr Sandra Richardson

Mater Research Strategic Grant for Outstanding Women 

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Dr Sandra (Sandy) Richardson is a Mater Research Career Track Fellow and member of the Genome Plasticity and Disease research group. 

Dr Richardson is looking into what causes miscarriage and fertility problems in women. She is interested in how particular, segments of DNA known as retrotransposons or ‘jumping genes’, impact human fertility and development of an embryo. By gaining a better understanding of these “jumping genes” it is hoped, that these segments of DNA could be potentially targeted to improve human reproductive outcomes.

Read more about Sandy. 

Dr Mitchell Sullivan 

Equity Trustees Strategic Early Career Research Fellow

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Dr Mitchell Sullivan is an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellow,  working in the Glycation and Diabetes Complications research group lead by Professor Josephine Forbes.

Dr Sullivan believes that by investigating the processes involved in how our bodies store the sugar in our tissues, it will be possible to gain a better understanding of the origin of nd potential treatments of metabolic diseases such as diabetes. He has a keen interest in the role of a molecule named glycogen, an important energy storage molecule found in tissues like the liver and kidneys.

Read more about Mitchell.
 

Professor Josephine Forbes 

Equity Trustees Chronic Disease Research Fellow

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Professor Josephine Forbes is a Program Leader of the Chronic Disease Biology and Care research theme at Mater and a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Research Fellow. Josephine leads the Glycation and Diabetes Complications Research Group at Mater Research.
Professor Forbes and her team are undertaking studies to understand and identify potential early interventions for diabetes complications in young adults. She is working closely with the Mater Young Adult Health Centre —a unique service specifically designed to provide care for young people with chronic health conditions and mental health issues. 
Over the last 12 months, Professor Forbes has  seen that the rate of kidney disease in patients at the Mater Young Adult Health Centre is higher than expected. She is now performing an audit to determine the how prevalent kidney disease is in this cohort.

Read more about Josephine.  

Associate Professor Kym Rae 

Equity Trustees Indigenous Health Leader

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A/Prof Kym Rae is the Principal Research Fellow in Indigenous Health at Mater Research Institute, collaborating with the Queensland Family Cohort team.

Since joining Mater Research, Kym has established collaborations with s Professors Vicki Clifton and Sailesh Kumar who are leading the Queensland Family cohort (QFC)—a landmark research project that will look at the health of 10 000 families across Queensland. 

She has joined the QFC Research Governance team and is working to improve approaches to recruitment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families into the study.

Read more about Kym.