Since 2012 the Alliance has been engaged in a number of major research collaborations. A number of the collaborations have received substantial investments, such as projects in sustainable chemistry, nanomedicine, healthcare improvement, advanced imaging, and understanding cultures. We are currently reviewing a series of exciting opportunities for areas in which we can expand our research efforts and take advantage of each institution's strengths in the coming years.
We take both a top-down and bottom-up approach to identifying areas for investment, which is reflected in the broad disciplinary range of Alliance projects. The Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer is just one of many projects that have benefitted from Alliance support. Initially awarded seed funding, it has developed into a major collaboration with other university partners.
Several individual researchers and exciting research initiatives supported by the Alliance have already received external recognition, including:
- AUD$28m from the Australian Research Council for a Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging to develop innovative imaging technologies to explore the immune system, leading to a better understanding of how the immune system functions.
- AUD$26m from the Australian Research Council for a Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology that focuses on new scientific and social understanding, underpinning advances in bio-nanotechnology.
- AUD$9m for a unique collaboration between Monash University, University of Warwick, CSIRO, Griffith University, and the University of Western Australia, to investigate the optimal forms of asset allocation by super funds, and how this will impact on economic growth as the pool of funds under management grows.
- AUD$2.5m from the NHMRC for the Centre of Excellence in Prehospital Emergency Care led by Monash which will facilitate collaborative research projects and build capacity in emergency medical services research. Professor Gavin Perkins from Critical Care Medicine at Warwick is a partner in this project.
- GBP£1.8m / AUD$2.7m from the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council to investigate how modern Italian culture has developed around the world.
- AUD$766,000 from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council to investigate the effectiveness of aspirin in healing leg ulcers.
As part of the investment in major collaborations the Alliance has appointed a select group of joint professors who are primarily based at one institution, but spend significant time at the partner university. In addition to directing ground-breaking research activities, our joint appointments also have teaching and strategic responsibilities. Alliance joint professors collaborate closely, and regularly garner awards in their respective fields.
One example has seen collaboration between Professors Sébastien Perrier and Tom Davis. Together they design, create and test nanomaterials that can deliver therapeutics drugs directly to a disease site. These materials, designed on a scale at 1/1,000,000 of a millimetre, are set to revolutionise how we diagnose and treat conditions from cancer to heart disease.
Several of our joint professors have recently won prestigious awards;
- Professor Sébastien Perrier, one of the Alliance's first joint professorial appointments, has received three prestigious awards recognising his organic nanotube research from the Royal Society, the Australian Academy of Science and the American Chemical Society.
- Professor Greg Challis has won the prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Interdisciplinary Prize for 2017. Professor Challis’ work focuses on the discovery of antibiotics and other useful natural molecules produced by microorganisms.
- Professor Tom Davis has recently been elected as a fellow to the Australian Academy of Science. Professor Davis’ work embraces polymerization kinetics, nanostructured films, nanoparticles, protein conjugates, nanoparticle enhanced bio-imaging, gene delivery and targeted therapeutics.