It has been a long year for the 2020 Picchi Award winners who finally received their trophies last week. Matthew Grant is in the Netherlands experiencing the global pandemic from a European perspective. French-national Deborah Meyran completed her PhD with a young family, has forged new frontiers with her research, and France is suddenly much further away. Stefan Bjelosevic has been bunkered down at Peter Mac at the Johnstone Lab as a key member of the team. These young enterprising scientists have adapted to all that has been thrown at them, and this makes them even more impressive.
Recently we were treated to a slightly clunky international link-up to bring them all together to finally accept their awards in the company of friends, family and supervisors. As a clinician who has been associated with the Picchi Foundation for more than 10 years, Professor Mark Rosenthal hosted the presentation. The VCCC alliance was again delighted to welcome Picchi Brothers Foundation Chair, Joseph Lukaitis and board members Bronwyn O’Brien, Lyn Parkin and Adrian Trubiani.
Deborah Meyran and Stefan Bjelosevic receive their awards from Professor Mark Rosenthal and Picchi Brothers Foundation Chair Joseph Lukaitis
Who were the Picchi brothers?
The Picchi brothers, Vittorio, Antonio and Pietro were Italian migrants who, despite building a thriving business manufacturing mannequins at the height of Melbourne's emerging fashion and retail business, were left without descendants due to the ravages of asthma and cancer. The Picchi Brothers Foundation was founded in 1993 and has since provided more than 1.5 million dollars in grants to support projects and researchers.
2021 Applications now open
The Picchi Award for Excellence in Cancer Research supports outstanding PhD students. Each year PhD students are invited to make a submission in the categories of basic science, clinical science, and population health.
Up to three $10,000 prizes recognising excellence in cancer research are awarded to students of the VCCC alliance in a tradition that has spanned more than a decade and acknowledges potential world-class researchers embarking on their careers.
The Picchi Brothers Foundation aims to inspire and encourage the next generation of cancer research leaders. The intention is that the prizes will provide recipients with the opportunity to travel internationally for conferences or collaborative work to support their development towards research independence. Due to the global circumstances, utilisation of the award in other ways to support research activities or publication will be considered.
Read more about making an application this year.
Image: Members of the Picchi Brothers Foundation Board congratulate winners