World-Leading Independent Medical Research Institute Finding Cure for Today’s Most Chronic Diseases [Interview][Transcript]

profMathew Vadas

Guest: Professor Mathew Vadas AO
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Professor Mathew Vadas is a physician and internationally renowned immunologist who leads a program of vascular research focused on the mechanisms of inflammation in endothelial cells and on the resultant impact of inflammation on endothelial function in various disease states. He is the Executive Director of the Centenary Institute, Sydney. Professor Vadas has established major research enterprises in Australia. He was founder and inaugural Director of the Hanson Centre for Cancer Research (now the Hanson Institute). Professor Vadas is one Australia’s most highly cited scientists with >25,500 citations (H index = 85). He is an Inaugural (2001) ISI Award Citation Laureate (one of 33 most cited Australian researchers in all disciplines). His work has made seminal contributions to medical science.

Segment overview: For our Health Academy Series today, Centenary Institute‘s Executive Director Professor Mathew Vadas AO joins us to discuss the development in the various researches that they have mainly focused in the key areas of cancer, inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Their research spans from investigating molecular mechanisms of disease at the single cell level to translational disease models in complex organisms and to clinical trials. Their strength is in uncovering disease mechanisms and applying this knowledge to improve diagnostics and treatments for patients and find cures for some of the most chronic diseases affecting today’s society.


Health Professional Radio

Wayne Bucklar:   You’re listening to Health Professional Radio with Wayne Bucklar. Today my guest is Professor Mathew Vadas. Mathew is the executive director of the Centenary Institute and he joins us on HPR to tell us about the Centenary Institute and the work they’re doing. Mathew welcome to Health Professional Radio.

Mathew Vadas:   Thank you very much, it’s a pleasure to be here. The Centenary Institute as you possibly know is an independent medical research institute, there are quite a few in Australia. And we concentrate on understanding disease and finding cures for it. And our particular expertise is understanding the process of inflammation which drives cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as number of inflammatory disease that you’ve probably heard of. But in the last few years, it’s been just amazing rate of discovery of new drugs that have attacked inflammation in one way or another and they’ve been able to improve people’s lives and this is exactly the area that Centenary Institute is involved in.

W:   Now Mathew the Institute’s located in Sydney and I gather it’s closely allied with both the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the University of Sydney.

M:   That is correct. In fact it was created 30 years ago to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the medical faculty of Sydney University and also the … well … hospital. And so there effectively are our two parents and we have a long term and with both of them which really works really, really well for us because the hospital gives us an enormous insight into what is important in medical research and the university has a number of scientific tools that we use all the time which makes it really, really fantastic.

W:   And I gather than many of your faculty are both professors at the university and clinicians.

M:   My faculty is about 12 people, about half of them are physicians or physicians in the hospital and they run departments there. So there, they’re the head of department or dermatology, or hematology or hepatology which is really, really fantastic for us because it is a very, very close tie in the hospital.

W:   Is the focus on the inflammation something that’s been deliberate or is that just where research has led you to?

M:   That’s a good question. Look, it’s been an area that we’ve been really, really good at for a while and in the past year or so we’ve deliberately started to focus on it much more and more because it’s become really clear that quite fortuitously, our focus has become absolutely center point in medical research. And as I tell people aiming and taming the inflammation is going to be the next, next big thing for at least a couple of decades.

W:   Certainly it’s something that we hear about here talking to various research clinicians as being very much on the research radar. Mathew we have an audience that is largely clinical based, we have about 95% of our listeners who are clinicians of some sort, healthcare professionals, normally in acute setting. What’s the take away message for them about the institute that you’d like them to know as a result of talking to us today?

M:   There are quite a few thing I think that are very important for all sorts of health professionals. One of them is to first of all to recognize, that what the researchers like them and whom they help will working on 10-15 years ago are now the reality of therapy has taken that long but it really bore and bore fantastic fruits. And I think the second thing it’s that being involved in a research, you know right now, how small a way and being actually understanding what happens, it’s gonna be more and more important everybody’s lives. So in a sense if they can invite us to talk to them and we invite them to talk to us, I think it will work in a really synergistic way in the future.

W:   And Mathew what’s the best way for people to get in touch with you? Is it through your website if to begin that process of discussing?

M:   Look, absolutely it’s through my website or just email me directly or call me and my door is always open. And we have a tremendous amount of fun and pleasure in speaking to all sorts of people about what we do.

W:   Now I always get into trouble for mentioning websites because people say “You didn’t warn me and I didn’t have time to get my pencil ready.” So listeners pencils ready, that website is, so that’s an Australian website Mathew it’s been a pleasure chatting with you today, I’m sure there’s lots more things we could talk about but time is going to beat us. If you’ve just joined us, you just missed me talking with professor Mathew Vadas, the executive director of Centenary Institute in Australia. There is on our website a transcript of this interview, there’s also a SoundCloud archive and there’s a YouTube archive as well. Mathew, thank you for your time today, I understand that you’re travelling internationally and I appreciate the effort you’ve gone to be able to talk to us.

M:   Not at all, it’s been an absolute pleasure. I’ll have to catch you soon.

W:   My pleasure to have you on the station with me. This is Wayne Bucklar for Health Professional Radio.