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JDRF is pleased to announce the next group of participants taking part in the JDRF/Macquarie Group Foundation Future Research Leaders Program (FRLP). An initiative of JDRF and principally supported by the Macquarie Group Foundation, this Program aims to support researchers in the early-mid stages of their careers to develop leadership potential and increase the success rate of securing funding. This will ensure the momentum of T1D research continues into the future.

Thirteen of the best and brightest rising stars in type 1 diabetes have been selected to take part in year two of the FRLP.

FRLP Year Two Participants

The areas of expertise of the group are very diverse, ranging from lab-based researchers in developmental biology, kidney disease, heart disease, molecular biology, cell engineering and immunology, to clinical research in endocrinology, biomarkers, diabetes technology, digital health, clinical trial expertise and project management.

The participants are:

  • Associate Professor Melinda Coughlan, Monash University VIC
  • Associate Professor Anandwardhan Hardikar, University of Sydney NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre NSW
  • Dr Chunling Huang, University of Sydney Kolling Institute NSW
  • Dr Harald Janovjak, Monash University Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute VIC
  • Dr Ki Wook Kim, University of New South Wales NSW
  • Dr Sybil McAuley, University of Melbourne and St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne VIC
  • Dr Rachel McGrath, University of Sydney Kolling Institute NSW
  • Ms Ashley Ng, La Trobe University VIC
  • Dr Megan Penno, University of Adelaide SA
  • Dr Reena Singh, University of Sydney Charles Perkins Centre NSW
  • Dr Andrew Sutherland, St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research VIC
  • Dr Mitchel Tate, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute VIC
  • Dr Bo Wang, Monash University VIC

As part of this Program, these researchers will build on the skills needed to broaden the reach and impact of their research. In the first leadership skills workshop held in February facilitated by Marlow Hampshire, the group learned about effective collaboration with other researchers, what to consider for translating their research into new treatments or therapies for T1D, how to build effective teams, and how to communicate their research to a large range of stakeholders. These skills work in synergy, to help these promising researchers establish themselves as prominent in the field.

The group were tasked with identifying a research idea that addresses a need for people with T1D, utilising the knowledge of everyone in the room. This posed a challenge given the diverse range of skillsets, but gave the researchers an invaluable opportunity to develop leadership and team building skills.

Of this process, Dr Sybil McAuley commented, “The point of this activity is to learn to effectively collaborate; we need to all learn from participating so we can benefit type 1 diabetes research into the future”.

JDRF was privileged to have two guest speakers share their expertise with the next generation. Ms Christine Garberg, Chair of JDRF’s Lay Review Panel, a JDRF advocate and mum to a son with T1D, gave a powerful presentation on the power of hope and challenged the group to communicate effectively to make their research more accessible.

Dr Matt Harris, founder and CEO of Clarity Pharmaceuticals and co-founder of TM Ventures shared his expertise in navigating the challenges of translating research from “bench to bedside” through commercialisation, to ensure patient impact.

Dr Harald Janovjak commented on the insight provided by Matt “We have to remember that getting a patent is just the start of the race”.


Stay tuned to the blog for updates on the Program, including profiles of the upcoming participants.

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