The Victorian Government has announced the members of the state’s new mRNA Scientific Advisory Group, which was formed to provide advice on the Government’s $50 million plan for mRNA vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing in Melbourne.
Operating for an initial term of two years, the Scientific Advisory Group will harness the expertise of its members and, in consultation with mRNA Victoria, support the development of mRNA vaccine manufacturing and research in the state.
The new body brings together leading domestic and global vaccine experts, including award-winning immunologist and virologist 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 (NIH) and worked with American company Moderna to create their mRNA vaccine.
He 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.
Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said the brilliant experts who are part of this group will provide unparalleled understanding of mRNA, which will help Victoria become home to world-class vaccine manufacturing capability.
“This body will ensure that Victoria is at the forefront of mRNA research and it’s fantastic to see Dr Graham join our mRNA program,” the Minister said.
“His knowledge led to incredible vaccine development in the United States and will be invaluable.”
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.