New HPV vaccine research scholarship awarded

A $15,000 post-Honours vaccine research scholarship sponsored by Medicines Australia has been won by University of NSW medical student Dr Holly Seale.

Dr Seale will use the scholarship to research knowledge of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and attitudes towards HPV immunisation among young people with poor immune systems and their carers.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said the aim of the scholarship was to advance research in an arena of public health that brings an enormous health benefit to all Australians.

“Vaccines are a cornerstone of preventative health,” Dr Shaw said. “They are made available to the community through the research, effort and investment of the Australian medicines industry. Our industry is very proud to support Australian science.

“The HPV vaccine, developed by Professor Ian Frazer, is a beacon of Australian innovation that is changing the disease profile of cervical cancer across the western world and increasingly in developing countries.

“In Australia over the past 30 years we have seen numerous vaccines have a demonstrably positive impact on human health outcomes.

“The number of reported cases of measles, mumps and rubella fell from 2290 to 633 in the decade following the introduction of that vaccine.

“Between 1991 and 2007 the number of reported cases of Hib B dropped from 460 to 17.

“Between 2002 and 2007 the number of reported cases of pneumococcal disease dropped from 2451 to 1488. In the same period the number of cases of meningococcal dropped from 490 to 305.

“In 2009 H1N1 vaccines were a key weapon against the threat of a global flu pandemic.”

The vaccine scholarship to Dr Seale is provided by Medicines Australia and awarded by the Public Health Association of Australia.

Dr Seale will submit her research to the editors of the Australasian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health and will present at a Public Health Association of Australia conference in 2012.

Medicines Australia member companies which manufacture vaccines include: CSL, GSK, Wyeth, sanofi aventis, Abbott, Baxter and Novartis.


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