2018 Cutaneous Biology

Prof Allison Cowin

Prof Cowin is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Professor of Regenerative Medicine at the University of South Australia.  She is recognised as a leading authority in the area of wound healing and scar formation with over 100 peer-reviewed papers, editorials and book chapters in international journals and books. She leads a team of 12 staff and students and over the past 20 years has established, a world-leading and unique position in which to define the mechanisms involved in wound healing particularly in relation to the role of the cytoskeletal protein Flii. Prior to coming to Australia, Professor Cowin was awarded her PhD and commenced her studies in wound healing at the University of Manchester. Upon joining the Women’s & Children’s Research Institute and subsequently the University of Adelaide and most recently the University of South Australia she has been able to cement her position as a leading researcher in wound healing and tissue regeneration. She has been awarded over $12M in grant funding including continuous NHMRC funding since 2004 for her work developing antibody technologies for the treatment of wounds. Her research on the cytoskeletal protein Flightless I has received special recognition from the NHMRC by inclusion in its ‘10 of the best projects’ publication. She has been awarded five independent fellowships (3 from the NHMRC) won the Women in Innovation: Science award (2016) was an SA finalist in the Telstra Women’s Business awards in 2015 and her research “Novel drug delivery of therapeutic antibodies to wounds” made the finals of the “Australian Innovation Challenge” (2015).

Prof Cowin is the Asia-Pacific Associate Editor for the American journal Wound Repair and Regeneration and Editor of the Australian journal Wound Practice & Research. She is on the Scientific Advisory Board of The Australasian Blistering Diseases Foundation and the Australian Wound Management Research Foundation. Her standing in the field is further evidenced when in 2014, she was awarded the honour of becoming a Fellow of the Australian Wound Management Association in recognition of her significant leadership in wound management and research. Prof Cowin provides leadership to her field through her involvement in two National CRCs. She is Program Leader of the Wound Management Innovation CRC (awarded $28M 2010 total $89M) and Project Leader in the CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing (awarded $20M 2013 total $59M). Prof Cowin is a member of the international expert panel for the Wound Healing and Management node of the Joanna Briggs Institute which is developing new clinical guidelines to influence clinical practice.

Prof Cowin was the founder and inaugural President (2007-2012) of the Australasian Wound & Tissue Repair Society and is now Treasurer of this organisation. The society now has over 100 members, held its 5th National conference in 2016 and regularly supports young investigators to attend national and international meetings through its travel grant schemes. She was a member of the Australian Wound Management Association national committee from 2007-2012 and chaired the scientific organizing committees for both the 2008 National AWMA conference and the 1st AWTRS conference in Darwin. She was also on the organising committee for the 2nd and 3rd AWTRS conferences and the scientific program committees for both AWMA 2012 and 2014 national conferences. She is currently on the organising committees for the 2018 Wounds Australia conference and the 6th AWTRS conference. In 2014 she was invited to join the Board of the Australian Society for Dermatology Research.

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