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Professor Tony Weiss wins prestigious Clunies Ross Award

Professor Anthony Weiss AM FTSE received the Clunies Ross Knowledge Commercialisation Award at a gala event in Sydney, organised by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

Innovative work with tropoelastin and elastin – the unique biological ingredients that give human tissue its elasticity – led Professor Weiss to develop synthetic skin that can be applied to heal wounds. Professor Weiss, used his inventions to found a spin-off company called Elastagen, which was last year bought by Allergan, one of the world’s 20 largest biopharmaceutical companies.

Academy President, Professor Hugh Bradlow FTSE, congratulated Professor Weiss, who is a Fellow of the Academy, “Clunies Ross Awards have been offered since 1991, recognising people who have applied outstanding technological achievements for the benefit of Australia.

“The nation’s future prosperity depends on embracing new technology to address critical national challenges. More than ever, we need knowledge creation, technology and innovation that can be harnessed to drive commercialisation and economic and social benefit.

“Professor Weiss has made a tremendous contribution – developing a treatment that will now be delivered worldwide, thanks to the purchase of his company by Allergan.”

Professor Weiss, from the University of Sydney's School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Charles Perkins Centre, said he is honoured to receive a Clunies Ross Award, “The elastic biomaterial I developed with fine colleagues – the synthetic skin – changes the way that wounds are treated. A patch placed on damaged wounds heals faster and works better for the patient than conventional treatment.

“The commercialisation of the technology has been a big win for collaboration between the university sector and industry, for the superannuation and venture capital firms that backed it, and for the Australian economy.”

Sir Ian Clunies Ross, born in 1899, was best known for his pioneering work in veterinary science. In 1949, he became Chairman of the newly renamed CSIRO. The Clunies Ross Awards are administered by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

NSW State Meeting, 11 October 2019

We're pleased to announce that this year's NSW State meeting will be held at the Woolcock Institute for Medical Research, 431 Glebe Point Rd, Sydney.

Please save the date and forward this announcement to any of your colleagues who might wish to come along. Further details will be released on the Society's website as they become available.

Tony Weiss Wins Eureka Prize in 2018

The MBSANZ congratulates Tony Weiss (University of Sydney) for winning the prestigious Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Innovation in Medical Research, for his development and commercialisation of fast-acting surgical glue, MeTro, and for innovation in synthetic biomaterials.  Tony is past-president of MBSANZ (2014-2016), and the society has been privileged to follow his exciting and innovative biochemical research on the self-assembling ECM protein tropoelastin over the last couple of decades. As well as high quality fundamental research, Tony has translated his research to both commercial and clinical outcomes. His patented biomaterials inventions recently led to Allergan acquiring his university spin-off Elastagen. See Tony talking about MeTro at: https://youtu.be/yBrrqv2XyCk

Tony's work and well deserved success, is a great example not only of how fundamental discovery-science can have major health and economic impact, but the importance of Matrix Biology! 

Matricellular Proteins in Inflammation and Tissue Remodeling, Lisbon, Portugal, July 14 – 19 2019

This FASEB Science Research Conference will reflect the rapid growth of the field of matricellular proteins. New areas of expansion that will be addressed are biomedical research, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other ageing-related diseases; musculoskeletal diseases; ocular and neurological diseases; fibrosis; immunity; and inflammation. New developments and the translation of findings into clinical practice will be discussed in an inclusive and supportive atmosphere. Participation of researchers from all over the world is encouraged, including young investigators and trainees, and under-represented groups.

Further details are available from this flyer , or by visiting the conference website.

Congratulations to 2018 MBSANZ Award Winners

Congratulations to Matthew Hoffman (NIH, USA) who was awarded the Barry Preston Award in 2018, the society’s award for a senior researcher in the matrix biology field.
Dr. Hoffman’s laboratory studies salivary gland development, by investigating how stem/progenitor cells are directed along a series of cell fate decisions during organogenesis, aiming to identify targets for gene- and cell-based regenerative therapies.

Congratulations to Brooke Farrugia (University of Melbourne) who was awarded the Bob Fraser New Investigator Award in 2018, the society’s award for an outstanding early/mid career researcher in the matrix biology field. Dr Farrugia’s research spans biomaterial development and characterisation, wound healing, including in vitro models, molecular biology and glycobiology.

Congratulations to Richard Wang (University of Sydney) who was awarded the Dennis Lowther Award in 2018, the society’s award for an outstanding student poster presentation at the society meeting. Richard is researching 3D vascular networks as part of his PhD under the mentorship of Professor Tony Weiss.

MBSANZ members elected to the Council of the International Society for Matrix Biology


Megan Lord

Tony Weiss

Two MBSANZ members, Megan Lord (MBSANZ President, UNSW Sydney) and Tony Weiss (MBSANZ Past president, University of Sydney), have been elected Councillors for the International Society for Matrix Biology for 2019-2021.

Elastin, Elastic Fibers and Microfibrils Gordon Research Conference and Seminar

Interested in elastin, elastic fibres or microfibrils?
Attend the upcoming Gordon Research Conference and Seminar on Elastin, Elastic Fibers and Microfibrils – Biochemical, Biomechanical and Biological Functions of Elastin and Related Fibers in Homeostasis and Disease held 20-26 July, 2019 at Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, USA.
For more details visit:
Elastin Gordon Research Conference