A newly established Scientific Advisory Group will bring together leading local and global vaccine experts, including an award-winning immunologist and virologist, to provide advice on mRNA manufacturing capability in Victoria.

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Chaired by Victoria’s Lead Scientist Dr Amanda Caples, mRNA Victoria’s new Scientific Advisory Group will include Dr Barney Graham whose ground-breaking research into the spike protein was a key part of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough.

Dr Graham is the Deputy Director of the Vaccine Research Center at the US National Institutes of Health and worked with American company Moderna to create their mRNA vaccine.

He has worked closely with Dr Anthony Fauci – the leader of the United States’ coronavirus response.

Dr Graham is one of nine members of the Scientific Advisory Group, which also features Melbourne-based, world-leading infectious disease experts such as Professor Sharon Lewin and Professor Brendan Crabb.

The members of the group are:

  • Dr Amanda Caples – Victoria’s Lead Scientist and Chair of the Group
  • Professor Sharon Lewin – Director, Doherty Institute
  • Dr Barney Graham – Deputy Director, Vaccine Research Center, US National Institutes of Health
  • Professor William Charman – Sir John Monash Distinguished Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University
  • Professor Brendan Crabb – Director, Burnet Institute
  • Professor Doug Hilton – Director, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
  • Professor Terry Nolan – Head, Infectious Diseases, University of Melbourne
  • Professor John Carroll – Director, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
  • Professor Andrew Steer – Director, Infection and Immunity, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

The Scientific Advisory Group will harness the expertise of its members and, in consultation with mRNA Victoria, support the development of mRNA capability, manufacturing and research in Victoria.

mRNA Victoria will also work with industry associations such as AusBiotech and BioMelbourne Network to establish a panel of industry experts and service providers to complement the expertise of the Advisory Group.

The Victorian Government is investing an initial $50 million to build mRNA capability, which will equip Australia with vaccine support for protection against coronavirus and future pandemics, and capabilities for new research breakthroughs.

The creation of the new body solidifies the Government’s commitment to driving innovation and research, building on the establishment of the $2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund.

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