Dr Ken C Pang
2007 NHMRC/R G Menzies Fellowship
Dr Ken Pang from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research took up his Fellowship in 2008 at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University. His study is "RNA transport: a new paradigm in cell-to-cell communication".
Commended - 2006 Victorian Premier's Award for Medical Research:
"Dr Pang has made a valuable contribution in a new area of biological research that focuses on the recently recognised non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Unlike the well-known mRNAs, ncRNAs do not code for proteins, but instead seem to regulate the expression and fate of mRNAs within cells.
"Dr Pang has chronicled both the evolution and developmental expression patterns of ncRNAs. He has assembled a comprehensive ncRNA database which has been accessed by biomedical researchers worldwide.
"He has described a new class of very large ncRNAs. Using the immune system as a model, he has also illustrated the likely importance of ncRNAs by showing that, when cytotoxic T lymphocytes develop, they express a characteristic set of novel ncRNAs which may contribute to their functional maturation.
"In parallel, Dr Pang has also studied how the immune system fights virus infections. He determined that minor changes in how foreign viral molecules are displayed to cytotoxic T lymphocytes can dramatically influence how well these cells respond to infection.
"Dr Pang’s research has been published in several high profile journals in the fields of both Genetics and Immunology."