Through his world-leading medical research, Associate Professor Richard Ferrero is working towards an understanding of the cellular processes involved in stomach cancer – one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide.
As head of the Gastrointestinal Infection and Inflammation research group of the Hudson Institute of Medical Research since 2009, Ferrero’s research is focussed on understanding the chronic inflammation caused by the stomach bacterium, Helicobacter pylori.
"The long-term goal of my research is to be able to develop predictive tests to identify those H. pylori-infected individuals most at risk of developing stomach cancer. It is a dream of mine that we could one day develop a vaccine to prevent infection in the first place."
“This is important because chronic inflammation is essential for the development of stomach cancer,” he explains. “More broadly, inflammation is now recognised to play a key a role in many diseases, including arteriosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and many types of cancer.”
A microbiologist by training, Ferrero left Australia in 1990 to take up a postdoctoral position at the renowned Institut Pasteur in Paris, later gaining a tenured research position in the Institut’s Département de Bactériologie et Mycologie. He returned home in 2004 to a teaching and research appointment in Monash University’s microbiology department before taking up his current position in 2009.
An internationally recognised authority in the field, Ferrero has been a Senior Research Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council since 2010. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Monash University, and has contributed widely as an author and an inventor on patents. He is regularly called upon to present his research at conferences across the globe, and is an international member of the scientific committee of The International Workshop on Pathogenesis and Host Response in Helicobacter Infections.
His research has led to important clinical outcomes in the areas of antibiotic resistance, vaccine development and host immunity.
“The long-term goal of my research is to be able to develop predictive tests to identify those H. pylori-infected individuals most at risk of developing stomach cancer. It is a dream of mine that we could one day develop a vaccine to prevent infection in the first place.”
2016 Alumni Awards Winner Associate Professor Richard Ferrero
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