QUT professor honored with prestigious award

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Credit: Erika Fish/QUT Marketing and Communications.

A QUT professor has become the first Australian since Professor Ian Frazer to receive the prestigious West Lake Friendship award.

Professor Matt Brown, QUT Director of Genomics in the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), received the award in recognition of his work with the Wenzhou Medical University's (WMU) 1st Affiliated Hospital, in the Chinese city Wenzhou.

As well as building academic ties between Queensland and Wenzhou, Professor Brown established cancer genomics services and research programs at the hospital, bringing personalised medicine to Wenzhou cancer patients to improve treatments and lift survival rates.

The award is given annually to overseas experts who have contributed to the economic and social development of Zhejiang Province in any field.

Professor Brown was presented the award by the Governor of Zhejiang, a province of 54 million people.

"I am honoured to follow in the footsteps of major international names including Professor Ian Frazer in receiving this award," Professor Brown said.

"It reflects the hard work of many people in Brisbane and Wenzhou in building bridges between the two cities.

"The award comes to me but I am very grateful for the support I have received particularly from WMU, its 1st Affiliated Hospital, and QUT."

Over the past five years Professor Brown has organised student and staff exchanges and built research collaborations between WMU and universities in Brisbane.

He is also scientific director at the Centre for Personalised Medicine of WMU's 1st Affiliated Hospital, to be opened in December.

"I hope to strengthen ties between WMU and QUT in particular, with more staff and student exchanges," Professor Brown said.

"WMU has 14,000 medical students who are of very high standard, and both institutions will benefit from undergraduate and PhD student exchange."

Based at the Translational Research Institute and Princess Alexandra Hospital, Professor Brown leads a personalised medicine centre for cancer patients, a partnership between QUT and the Queensland Government's Metro South Health (a region that includes the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Greenslopes Hospital and Logan Hospital).

"By tailoring medical treatments to a patient's genetic profile we ultimately hope to provide more effective chemotherapy and cancer management," Professor Brown said.

"This is a new frontier for medicine that can significantly help people so I'm delighted my work in this field has been recognised internationally."

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Rob Kidd
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