2016 Shine Translational Research Fellowship awarded

2016 Shine Translational Research Fellowship awarded


24 May 2016

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research and St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney are pleased to announce that Dr Frank Lin is the 2016 Shine Translational Research Fellow. During his one-year Fellowship, Dr Lin – an advanced physician trainee in oncology at St Vincent’s Hospital – will undertake a novel data mining project at Garvan to support personalised cancer care.

The Shine Translational Research Fellowship program was jointly established by St Vincent’s Hospital and Garvan to support clinicians at St Vincent’s in undertaking research at Garvan and The Kinghorn Cancer Centre. In providing the opportunity for clinicians to participate directly in research, the Fellowship aims to facilitate the translation of research discoveries into clinical practice.

Dr Lin graduated from the University of Otago (New Zealand) with a medical degree in 2003 and from UNSW Australia with a PhD in medical informatics in 2009. He resumed his physician training at Waikato Hospital in New Zealand in 2012, and began oncology training at St Vincent's Hospital in 2015. He is currently in the second year of his specialist training in medical oncology.

Dr Lin’s research at Garvan will focus on unlocking important predictive information that is ‘hidden’ within medical records and that could help guide how clinicians treat individuals with cancer. He will be working with Dr Tudor Groza within the Phenomics team at the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, and with Professor Richard Epstein (Director of Research, St Vincent’s Department of Oncology) at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre.

“Not only is there an enormous amount of information encoded within electronic medical records (EMRs), but there are patterns within that information that can help predict likely outcomes for individual patients,” says Dr Lin.

“Those patterns can be difficult or impossible for clinicians to detect on a case-by-case basis – but by applying systematic text mining approaches to EMRs, we hope to uncover those hidden patterns and help guide therapeutic decisions in treating an individual with cancer.”

Dr Lin is thrilled to be working on a translational project in medical informatics.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity,” he says. “The Fellowship has jump-started the possibilities for me to explore how best to use advanced computational methods to benefit patients in the clinic.

“There are very few formal training pathways for medical graduates in this part of the world for those who wish to incorporate a science career early in the stage of medical specialty training. For those who, like me, aspire to be clinician-scientists, the Shine Fellowship is an ideal opportunity to advance their interest in translational research.”

The Shine Translational Research Fellowship is named in honour of Professor John Shine AO FAA, Executive Director of Garvan from 1990 to 2011.  Professor Shine has had a distinguished career in medical research. He is known for his discoveries in gene structure and also for his roles on the NHMRC Council, Australian Academy of Sciences and many scientific advisory panels, as well as his passion for translating scientific discoveries into clinical benefits.