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AbbVie partners with ASI to support immunological research


AbbVie has announced Professor Di Yu as the Winner of the inaugural Australia and New Zealand for Immunology (ASI) Research Award for 2021.

The Award, delivering funding of $80,000 for one year, aims to profile and elevate a mid-career researcher with a unique vision, track record and future potential. It was highly contested, with a number of high calibre applications entered from immunologists across Australia and New Zealand.

“The AbbVie sponsored New Horizons Research Award is one of many ways AbbVie supports early-stage innovation across Australia and New Zealand. We are proud to be able to recognise emerging talent with big ideas to uncover new areas of biology that have potential to give rise to novel therapeutic approaches,” said Chris Stemple, the Vice President and General Manager of AbbVie Australia and New Zealand.

“Congratulations to Professor Di Yu from The University of Queensland-Diamantina Institute on being the first recipient of the ASI AbbVie New Horizons Research. We wish Professor Yu all the success in uncovering new insights and investigating the therapeutic effects of ferroptosis inhibitors.”

Professor Yu is an internationally recognised immunologist and NHMRC Leadership Fellow who will use the award funding to investigate the therapeutic effects of ferroptosis inhibitors. His interest is in the role of ferroptosis in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease, particularly lupus disease.

Professor Yu said, “I feel extremely fortunate with the opportunity of conducting immunological research. The immune system is beautifully sophisticated. It acts to maintain healthy homeostasis and mount effective protection to infection and cancer, yet underlying mechanisms are not fully understood.

“Arriving in 2003, I have established my career in Australia. By understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of T cells, my team and my collaborators can reveal new insights into immune regulation and design new immunotherapies for autoimmune diseases, infection and cancer. I have been doing research in four cities in Australia and am so impressed by Australian immunologists as a community for support and collaboration.”