Ignite Innovation Awards

Let's turn imagination into reality.

Our young researchers are daring to imagine a better future through innovative solutions to problems such as blood clotting diseases, wounds, and cardiovascular disease.

The Ignite Innovation Awards is an annual event that provides seed funding to kickstart our young researchers' most promising ideas through the Ignite Innovation Fund.

Congratulations to the 2021 Ignite Innovation Award winner, Dr Melanie Oey.
Dr Melanie Oey

Oxygen is essential for all stages of wound healing, enhances antibiotic efficacy and reduces scarring. We present the novel concept of photosynthetic oxygen therapy for chronic and acute wound care, using medically safe, single-celled green microalgae. We will develop an antibacterial wound dressing that, through fixed microalgae in a translucent dressing scaffold will, while taking up CO2 from the wound, continuously supply safe, low-cost, light-driven, dissolved O2 (better uptake than gaseous) to improve wound-healing. This presents a paradigm shift in wound oxygenation by providing similar levels of efficacy to current expensive oxygen therapies ($100,000) at much smaller costs (~$10).

Congratulations to the Ignite Innovation Awards Finalists for 2021

Dr Simon de Veer

Blood clotting is vital for preventing blood loss after injury, but it also drives life-threatening diseases and presents a major challenge in medical procedures. We designed, and are patenting, an early-stage candidate that selectively inhibits coagulation factor XIIa, a genetically and clinically validated target for developing next-generation drugs that specifically block disease-related clotting. The inhibitor was engineered from a cyclic peptide discovered in the seeds of a tropical plant, and is highly effective at blocking factor XIIa-initiated clotting in human plasma, but has no activity on injury-related clotting. Funding will support additional foundational studies to attract commercial partners.


Dr Nathan Palpant

Heart muscle cells fail to pump effectively when stressed by disease conditions like heart failure. My research has shown that enhancing the interaction in the troponin complex, which controls heart cell contraction, improves cardiac pump performance under disease conditions. We screened for cyclic peptides that enhance interactions of the troponin complex and identified TROP-L01. Studies indicate that TROP-L01 crosses the membrane of heart cells and improves contraction of human heart cells without any adverse effects on relaxation or excitation-contraction coupling. We aim to advance studies to assess safety and efficacy of TROP-L01 as novel treatment for failing hearts.

The Ignite Innovation Fund will provide vital seed funding to kick-start the innovative research projects of IMB’s three finalists at the Ignite Innovation Awards. Seed funding from the Awards will provide the critical evidence required for a successful grant application or pitch for commercial investment for the three finalists. 

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Kamyra Laurenson

Advancement Director
Institute for Molecular Bioscience 
+61 7 3346 2185

Dr Ash AmirShahi

Research Partnerships Manager
Institute for Molecular Bioscience 
+61 7 3346 2194