2022 Dean's Innovation Grant recipients announced

The Melbourne Medical School congratulates Dr Carmine Onofrillo and Ms Doris Cao who were awarded this year’s Dean’s Innovation Grants.

Dr Carmine Onofrillo and Dr Ke Cao (L-R): Dr Carmine Onofrillo and Ms Ke Cao.

Dr Carmine Onofrillo, St Vincent’s Hospital, was awarded $50,000 to advance a collaborative project using tissue engineering to treat cartilage injuries. Human articular cartilage, which cushions the joints and enables them to move smoothly, cannot self-repair after an injury – potentially leading to chronic diseases such as post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Dr Carmine’s project will develop a new procedure whereby fat tissue from the knee is processed and then implanted into the site of a cartilage injury, enabling regenerative processes that can prevent long-term injury.

Ms Ke Cao, Research Fellow with the Department of Surgery Western Precinct, was awarded $50,000 to optimise chemotherapy dosing for patients with colorectal cancer. Chemotherapy dosing is currently determined using a crude body surface area calculation. The resulting inaccuracies can lead to inadequate cancer treatment or lethal toxicities for the patient. Ke has developed an automated artificial intelligence algorithm that provides an accurate measure of body composition, which will enable clinicians to accurately predict chemotherapy toxicities and dose accordingly.