The Premier’s Science Fellowship Program (Fellowship Program) aims to attract Premier's Science Fellows (distinguished researchers and leaders of international prominence) and Premier's Early to Mid-Career (EMC) Fellows (supporting early to mid-career researchers) to Western Australia.
The intention is that each round of the Fellowship Program will appoint a Premier's Science Fellow and a Premier's EMC Fellow in an area of need/opportunity (Area of Research) within a different State Government science priority area, subject to the availability of funding.
Appointed Fellows will be expected to increase Western Australia’s capabilities and capacities in the Area of Research; deliver benefits and opportunities to the State; improve collaboration; enhance engagement with industry and other end-users; attract research funding; and be ambassadors for science in Western Australia, including for the general public.
For further information regarding the Fellowship Program, please contact:
Dr Ros Dilworth
Senior Policy Officer
Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation
Phone: +61 8 9222 0741
The 2017 Round of the Fellowship Program selected a package of a Premier's Science Fellow and a Premier's EMC Fellow to address the following Area of Research in Western Australia:
World-leading human phenomics research (using metabolic phenotyping) and data analytics with clinical applications targeted at precision medicine to deliver healthcare benefits and opportunities to Western Australia, including economic and social benefits.
Metabolic phenotyping (profiling) in biological systems involves the measurement and analysis of metabolites in biological materials such as blood and urine. Metabolites can help explain what is happening at a phenotypic level (observable physical and biochemical characteristics) as a result of the interactions between our genes and environmental factors, including lifestyle, diet, drug treatment and microbiomes (the microbial communities that live in and on our bodies).
Large-scale human metabolic phenotyping in human health and disease, and correlation with clinical data, aims to increase understanding to enable faster diagnosis and more effective treatments, including precision medicine.
Precision medicine is an emerging approach to disease prevention, detection and treatment tailored to the individual patient, subpopulation or population.
The potential contribution of metabolic phenotyping to precision medicine holds considerable promise, including for development of indicators (biomarkers) for diagnosis and prognosis to aid clinical decision-making, analysis of drug suitability (effectiveness and safety), and monitoring patient journeys in hospital environments to improve patient care and reduce time in hospital.
The new Fellows will assist Western Australia to play a significant role in realising this promise by building on the State's existing strengths in metabolic phenotyping, which include:
In addition to advancing precision medicine, metabolic phenotyping also offers Western Australia opportunities to:
The Fellows appointed under the 2017 Round of the Fellowship Program are:
The new Fellows will relocate from the United Kingdom to commence their Fellowships in Western Australia in January 2019.
Professor Holmes has over 20 years experience in metabolic phenotyping technology and its applications, underpinned by analysis and integration of complex data. She is one of the pioneers and leading researchers in this field.
Professor Holmes is currently Head of the Division of Computational and Systems Medicine at Imperial College London. Her achievements include development of crucial computational modelling tools and a novel approach for linking metabolites to population and individual data on disease risk factors; discovery of biomarkers associated with high blood pressure, liver cancer and obesity; and co-founding of two spin-out companies.
Her Fellowship Project will have two complementary parts:
A key objective of Professor Holmes’ Fellowship will be to create a framework for delivering high quality metabolic phenotyping data to academics, clinicians and industry to serve the emerging area of precision medicine and to bridge the translational medicine gap between research and clinical implementation.
Dr Loo has expertise and experience in epidemiological studies and in data analytics for metabolic phenotyping (particularly data modelling and visualisation), and specific phenomics research interests in nutrition and health.
She is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Medway School of Pharmacy, Universities of Greenwich and Kent. She and Professor Holmes have been research collaborators since Professor Holmes was one of her PhD supervisors.
Her Fellowship Project will help to build critical mass in phenomics data analytics in Western Australia, including for Professor Holmes’ project. Dr Loo’s work will also involve complementary research in personalised nutrition to deliver new knowledge of dietary influence on human metabolism and the microbiome in health/disease, and provide a translational bridge to the food science industry.