Glycomics Week festivities at the Institute for Glycomics

2023 Institute for Glycomics Grand Ball

The first week of October brought with it a flurry of activity at Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics as they celebrated their annual Glycomics Week.

Glycomics Week is the Institute’s biggest and busiest week of the year and includes three major events: the Glycomics Public Forum, the Glycomics Student Forum, and the much-anticipated Institute for Glycomics Grand Ball.

Glycomics Week was established in 2010 to mark the Institute’s 10th anniversary, and aims to celebrate the Institute’s significant research successes, and the impact this research has on the discovery and development of novel diagnostics, preventions and cures to combat diseases of global impact.

Another important aspect of Glycomics Week is to connect with the local, national and international community, and acknowledge the invaluable assistance received from industry partners, donors and supporters.

Glycomics Student Forum – Thursday 5 October 2023

The Glycomics Student Forum is an annual, student-organised event which provides the Institute’s postgraduates with an opportunity to present their hard-earned research accomplishments to the wider Institute and community and hone their presentation skills in preparation for future conferences.

Glycomics Student Forum

This year’s Student Forum included a presentation from keynote speaker Professor Todd Lowary as well as an insightful panel discussion entitled “Unlocking Future Horizons: Career Development Pathways for HDR Students”.  The panel enabled students to discover the pathways to a successful postgraduate journey as they heard from experienced professionals who shed light on the opportunities available to Higher Degree Research students.

The Glycomics Student Forum is supported by external suppliers and companies who, in turn, hold a Trade Display within the Institute for the duration of the day.

Glycomics Public Forum – Friday 6 October 2023

The Glycomics Public Forum is an annual forum held at the Institute for Glycomics. The general public is encouraged to attend this evening event to hear from a panel of experts from various fields that link back to the study of glycomics and its relevance to cancer, infectious diseases and neurological disorders research. The panel of experts’ discussions are easy to understand, making this event suitable for anyone to attend.

This year, the panel of experts discussed “Drugs and Vaccines – The journey from Laboratory Discovery to Pharmaceutical Product”, moderated by Ms Nicole Dyer, an ABC Radio Presenter.

Glycomics Public Forum

The 2023 panel included:

  • Professor Todd Lowary – Distinguished Research Fellow and the Director of the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica Taiwan.
  • Dr Iris Depaz – Country Medical Lead ANZ at Sanofi.
  • Associate Professor Lara Herrero – Research Leader, Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University.
  • Professor Mark Smythe – Principal Research Fellow, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland and CEO at Infensa Bioscience Pty Ltd.
  • Dr Chris Davis – General Manager, Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University.

Guests were invited to ask the panel questions and after the event enjoy some light canapés and refreshments, with the opportunity to meet and converse with the panel and research scientists from the Institute for Glycomics.

Institute for Glycomics Grand Ball – Saturday 7 October 2023

The Institute for Glycomics Grand Ball is an annual black-tie event, supported by Griffith University and the wider community.

This year’s Grand Ball welcomed over 400 guests who enjoyed a delicious three course meal, four-hour beverage package, exciting raffle and auction prizes, live entertainment all night, and an exclusive afterparty.

Every dollar raised at the event goes directly towards the Institute’s research into finding new cures and preventions for diseases of global impact.

Guests were treated to an array of special feature performances by Opera Queensland, that included talented alumni of Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University like Meg Washington.

Other entertainment included a spectacular fireworks display, plus entertainment from Griffith University’s Young Conservatorium musicians and Magic Carpet Ride, one of Australia’s favourite cover bands.

2023 Institute for Glycomics Grand Ball

The Institute for Glycomics welcomed the community’s support of this annual black-tie affair and attracted high profile event partners including Meriton Group (Platinum Partner), SAMTAY (Gold Partner), Grand Medical (Silver Partner), FB Rice (Bronze Partner), Opera Queensland (Feature Entertainment Partner), Destination Gold Coast (Lounge Sponsor), GET it Magazine and Luke Marsden Photo (Media and Support Partners).

Thanks to event partners, sponsors, prize donors, and all those who attended this year’s event, over $200,000 was raised in support of the Institute’s research.

The launch of two new facilities

This year’s Glycomics Week was especially significant as it included the launch of two new facilities within the Institute for Glycomics.

  • On Tuesday 3 October 2023, the Institute celebrated the launch of the Community Bank Paradise Point Flow Cytometry Facility.

Community Bank Paradise Point, a long-term supporter of the Institute for Glycomics, provided philanthropic support towards the purchase of a new flow cytometry instrument. Flow cytometry is a powerful tool in medical research, capable of analysing the characteristics of cells and other particles in a sample. This technology is particularly useful for studying cancer and infectious diseases, as it can quickly and accurately identify cell populations that are abnormal or diseased.

The facility will enable researchers to analyse large numbers of cells quickly and accurately, providing valuable insights into the underlying causes of disease and potential new treatments.

  • On Friday 6 October 2023, the Institute celebrated the launch of the Bourne Foundation Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy Facility.

The Bourne Foundation is a staunch supporter of the Institute for Glycomics and helped facilitate the replacement of one of the Institute’s core NMR Instruments, which had been in operation for over 10 years and required full replacement.

The Bourne Foundation funded the purchase of the new NMR instrument in memory of their founder, Mr Arthur Bourne, a hard-working, ethical entrepreneur with an engineering flair who was committed to playing his part in progressing medical research discoveries and cures for the future of global health.

Professor Mark von Itzstein AO said the Institute’s 2023 Glycomics Week celebrations were busy and enjoyed by all who attended.

“We thank everyone who came along and supported this year’s host of exciting events. It was certainly a week filled with activity, and that’s exactly what we were hoping for. We love nothing more than connecting with the community and showcasing our impressive facilities and outstanding research capabilities.

“Glycomics Week is an excellent opportunity to show the general public what our research scientists and students are vigorously working on behind laboratory doors and how their research impacts the health of millions around the world.”

Bourne Foundation Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy Facility Launch
Community Bank Paradise Point Flow Cytometry Facility Launch