Indo-Australian Biotechnology Conference

Australia and India Build Closer Links Through Medical Research Conference

The opportunities for Australian medical researchers to forge closer links with Indian counterparts will be high on the agenda when the 11th annual Indo-Australian Biotechnology Conference is held in Sydney next month.

The conference, which is being hosted by the Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research (WMI) will feature presentations by 28 of India’s and Australia’s leading medical researchers.

The unifying theme at this year’s conference will be how new discoveries about the human immune system are influencing  research in infectious and auto-immune diseases, cancers and the development of vaccines.
The Convener of the conference, WMI Executive Director Professor Tony Cunningham, said the conference should result in further collaborations between Australian and Indian scientists.

“Elite researchers from all over Australia and India will speak on topics of interest to both countries, including HIV, malaria, TB, dengue, ovarian cancer and hospital-acquired infections,” he said.

The Secretary-General of the Indo-Australian Biotechnology Society, Dr Sheel Nuna, says that over more than a decade the annual conference has greatly contributed to improving dialogue between researchers and potential investors.

“This conference brings the power of the Indian Biotech sector closer to breakthrough discovery science that occurs in both countries,” said Dr Nuna.

“The conference played an important role in the establishment of the Australia India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) in 2006 and with the Australian government’s recent commitment of an extra $20 million, the AISRF is Australia’s largest bilateral research fund with any country.”

The conference will facilitate intellectual sharing at two different levels. 

Firstly, it is expected to provide a platform to share real-world experiences and solutions to clinical problems in Australia and India through research.

It will also define achievable directions for vaccines, immunotherapies and drugs that will benefit both patients and the community in India and Australia.

An example of such collaboration was the development by QIMR Berghofer and Banaras Hindu University of a combination immunotherapy and drug treatment to control the infectious disease leishmaniosis, which is spread on the Indian sub-continent and south-east Asia by sand-flies.

And Queensland University of Technology and Manipal University collaborated on identification of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers to improve management of diabetic ulcers.

The opening keynote address will be made by Professor V Nagaraja from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore - who will speak about the challenges posed by the resurgence of the bacterial infection that causes deadly tuberculosis – and former Australian of the year and co-creator of the technology for the cervical cancer vaccine, Professor Ian Frazer, who will speak about his latest research into skin cancers.

The 11th annual Indo-Australian Biotechnology Conference will be held on the 7th and 8th of September the WMI’s new, architecture award-winning, research centre at Westmead Hospital.

For further details visit the conference website


Westmead Millenium Institute