Contribution to human health top-ranked

Associate Professor Rebecca Lim is now formally among the top scientists in Australia after being ranked the highest applicant in the industry category for the 2018 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellowship Scheme.

Associate Professor Rebecca Lim formally among the top-ranked scientists in Australia in the industry category for the 2018 NHMRC Career Development Fellowship Scheme.
L–R: Prof Sharon Lewin, A/Prof Rebecca Lim, Prof Anne Kelso

The award is given to the highest ranked applicant in the biomedical, clinical, industry and population health pillars of the scheme of which she was awarded in the industry category.

NHMRC chief executive officer, Anne Kelso, presented the award to A/Prof Lim at the NHMRC Council dinner on Wednesday, 13 March in Canberra.

A/Prof Lim has dedicated her research to understanding how stem cells from the amniotic sac could change the progression of life-threatening diseases. Last year, she translated her findings into a world-first clinical trial to help extremely sick babies who have no other effective treatment.

By working with industry partners, A/Prof Lim hopes to increase patient access to safe and affordable cellular therapies.

“It is extremely humbling to receive this award. My team and I will be working extremely hard to help make regenerative medicines safe, affordable and accessible to all Australians,” A/Prof Lim said.

Treating chronic health disease in premature babies

A/Prof Lim delivered a world-first cell therapy using stem cells from the placenta to extremely premature babies with severe lung disease, or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).

“The fact that we were able to take this first step in extremely sick premature babies is an exciting achievement, which speaks to the faith of my clinical collaborators and the trust of parents of these babies,” A/Prof Lim said.

Commitment to regenerative medicine

A/Prof Lim’s major focus is to work with industry and clinical collaborators to translate regenerative medicine to effective treatments. Her aim is to introduce innovative technologies that will advance regulatory approval of regenerative medicines in a safe, effective manner.

Mentoring the next generation of scientists

A/Prof Lim hopes that this award will see more young scientists seeking opportunities to engage with industry, government and patient advocacy groups. She encourages them to venture beyond the walls of academia to translate their discoveries and maximise impact. “Seeking out mentors from industry and clinical practice will provide you with unique insights into making your discovery a clinical reality. Their perspective can be the difference between an academic pursuit and an impactful market-approved therapeutic,” A/Prof Lim said.

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