World Class Medical Researchers with Real Outcomes

An update from the Golden Valley Keperra Lions Club By President Paul Ryan

Recently I attended a presentation at Royal on the Park – Brisbane to listen to some brilliant Brisbane based Medical Researchers.

Nicole Zanyat from UQ TRI, Associate Professor Carlos Salomon, Professor Trent Munro, Dr Olivia Holland, Associate Professor Fiona Simpson and Mrs Charmaine Keal from SPARQ-ed were among the inspirational speakers present on the day.

Since 1963 Queensland Lions Clubs have supported over 50 Medical Researchers who had an idea, but not the finance, to get their research moving. Here are just a few of the topics we heard a bit about at the presentation.

Professor Carlos discussed his work in Ovarian Cancer early detection so survival rates increase.

Professor Trent spoke about UQ’s work on the COVID 19 vaccine. How the UQ vaccine worked but their work continues by activating our immune system to attack the virus. UQ has been working on Protein vaccines for 10 years, they developed a molecular clamp allowing the immune system to attack the virus. 

Dr Olivia Holland works on Diabetes during Pregnancy (there are 1.7 million diabetics in Australia today – the population of South Australia). It’s the leading cause of Adult Blindness, Limb amputation and Heart Disease in Australia. Olivia advised that after pregnancy half of the women will go on to have type 2 diabetes later in life.    

Professor Fiona Simpson discovered the genetic pathway that gives your eyes and hair their colour, leading to melanoma research. Amazing work in cancer research working on how different drugs effect cancers more differently and by using immunotherapy they can get the drugs to be 100% effective.

Mrs Charmaine Keal spoke about SPARQ – ed (Students Performing Advanced Research Queensland) this program identifies new potential researchers through the School system. They spend a week in Brisbane doing actual research.

There are many Research Foundations around the World, however Queensland, and Brisbane in particular, punches above its weight. Providing World Class research with real outcomes. Professor Ian Frazer (Cervical Cancer – Gardasil fame) was a recipient of a Lions fellowship.           

So, while Lions give back to the local Community they also support causes that have National and International impact.

I was truly humbled by the wealth of knowledge we have in our Brisbane Researchers, their passion and willingness to share their journey and explain what they do.  

If you feel moved to help Lions in their continued quest to fund brilliant researchers, contact me by emailing or call 0409 688 675

Our club is busy working for you – but we need more volunteers to help, male or female, any age, as long as they have a  desire to make a difference. 

For more details visit or visit us on Facebook at

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