The DVC (Research) Professor David Day, recently travelled to Technische Universität Dresden (Dresden University of Technology, or TU Dresden), to meet with a number of key personnel, predominantly within TU Dresden’s Faculty of Medicine, but also with Prof. Day’s equivalent, the Pro-rector Research Prof Gerhard Rodel.
On return from the trip, Prof. Day said: “I believe there are a number of genuine opportunities for collaboration with Flinders, and two of these are already in place”.
“I was particularly impressed by the OncoRay institute, which is pioneering proton therapy, and its director Prof. Baumann. I also was impressed by the collaboration between Ma-Li Wong and Julio Licinio and prof Bornstein on diabetes and depression”, he said.
Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden) is the largest university in Saxony, with approximately 37,000 students, 4,400 publicly funded staff members (among them over 500 professors) and approximately 3,500 externally funded staff members.
Having been committed to the sciences and engineering before the reunification of Germany, TU Dresden now is a multi-discipline university, also offering humanities and social sciences as well as medicine.
The Carl Gustav Carus Medical Faculty is on a biomedical / biotech campus with the CGC University public hospital, and is closely aligned with this organisation – similar to FMC. This campus also has a number of biomedical institutes, including the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics and the Centre for Regenerative Therapies. The medical school is affiliated with Dresden Technical University, but is on a separate campus and has an independent budget provided by the Saxony State.
Over the last 18 months, discussions and visits of key staff between Flinders University and Technische Universität Dresden respectively, have confirmed some potential for collaboration on the following:
- A program of specific leading-edge health and medical research, enhancing potential to jointly access future European and Australian research funding programs. Agreed areas of mutual interest include diabetes, obesity and depression (Julio Licinio) retinal inflammation (Justine Smith), low dose radiation (Pam Sykes) and glioma cancer stem cells (Rainer Haberberger)
- Staff and student mobility and exchange. Flinders PhD student Katherine Morel is about to spend 6 weeks in their laboratories in their ground-breaking cancer treatment and research facility Oncoray.
To facilitate this potential, Flinders University, as the lead South Australian partner, has secured co-investment seed or enabling funding of $80,000 from the South Australian Government’s Department of Premier and Cabinet to support a defined program of research and exchange over a 12 month period.