Fellowship Brings Leading Cancer Researcher To Victoria

One of the world’s best cancer researchers working to accelerate future treatments through DNA repair has received support from the Andrews Labor Government and veski to undertake research here in Victoria.

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis today announced Dr Vihandha Wickramasinghe as the 2016-17 veski Innovation Fellowship recipient. Dr Wickramasinghe recently joined the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre as the Head of the RNA Biology and Cancer Laboratory.

The Fellowship has helped attract the best Australian and international scientists and researchers to Victoria to make ground breaking discoveries and develop new cutting-edge technologies.

The Fellowship will support Dr Wickramasinghe to lead a new area of research in cancer biology based on his world-first discovery of DNA repair while at the University of Cambridge.

Dr Wickramasinghe will lead a team of cell biologists and translational researchers at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, that is now part of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC), to develop anti-cancer therapies that control the development of cancer cells.

The team will work closely with the state’s other globally-renowned cancer experts at the forefront of life-changing discoveries at the VCCC that are helping more cancer patients beat the deadly disease.

The Labor Government has long supported the veski Innovation Fellowship, which drives innovation, skills, knowledge and research across key areas of the state’s economy including medical technology, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, food science, new energy technologies and bioengineering.

Dr Wickramasinghe is the 24th Fellow supported through the veski Innovation Fellowship program since 2004.   Active Innovation Fellows have secured more than $68 million in research income to date with each Fellow delivering around $1.2 million to the economy each year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis

“We are proud to have Dr Wickramasinghe here in Victoria as part of our growing talent pool of leading international researchers, helping us to bring new treatments to patients sooner.”

“The veski Innovation Fellowship provides leading scientists and innovators with the support they need to continue their ground-breaking research in Victoria and to develop life-changing treatments and technologies.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“It’s great to have some of the world’s leading researchers and scientists joining our team at the new VCCC, which is accelerating discoveries into clinical practice so that all Victorians touched by cancer can receive the very best care sooner.”

“Dr Wickramasinghe and his team are a welcome addition to the partnership, working to share knowledge and resources to drive the next generation of cancer discoveries.”