Barry Preston Award

The BPA is presented by the MBSANZ annually to a senior researcher in the matrix field. The awardee is an outstanding leader distinguished by a sustained record of achievement, commitment to mentoring new researchers and exceptional communication skills.

Barry arrived in Australia from England in the early 1960s and was one of the first lecturers in Biochemistry at the newly established Monash University in Clayton, Victoria.

Barry’s research interest was the application of the principles of physical chemistry to biopolymers. Utilising model systems, Barry made major contributions to the understanding of the transport and excluded volume properties of matrix proteoglycans and hyaluronan. He was an enthusiastic teacher and mentor to young researchers and is remembered with great fondness and respect by those who had the good fortune to work under his guidance.

Barry was the driving force behind the formation of the Connective Tissue Society of Australia and New Zealand, as MBSANZ was then known, in 1975. He was the inaugural president of the society and served as such on four other occasions. He was director and board member of the Arthritis Foundation of Victoria.

Barry passed away in 2000 and in his memory, the MBSANZ established the BPA to honour his achievements in the matrix field. The award is open to any Australian or New Zealand researcher in the matrix field currently at a national or international research institution, who exemplifies the same passion for discovery and commitment to innovation that Barry typified.

Dennis Lowther Award 

To be eligible for the Dennis Lowther Award applicants must :

  • be financial, student members of MBSANZ
  • register for the conference and submit an abstract by the date determined by the local organising committee
  • present their research in poster format at the meeting
  • (students giving an oral presentation must also prepare a poster to be eligible for the award)

Dennis established the connective tissue research group at Monash University in the 1960s. This was the first group of its kind in Australia and under Dennis’s leadership developed a strong graduate teaching program. Many of the Australian leaders in the matrix field today, located both in Australia and overseas, can trace their beginnings back to this group.

To continue in the spirit of student mentorship initiated by Dennis, the MBSANZ established the DLA in 1992. The inaugural winner was Kathy Traianedes from St Vincents Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, who presented a poster entitled “Differential induction by retinoic acid of osteopontin and alkaline phosphatase when osteoblasts are grown on collagen”.

Bob Fraser New Investigator Award

Applicants for the award are invited every year. Finalists are chosen from submitted abstracts and CVs (see criteria below) and are invited to present at the next meeting of MBSANZ. The winner is determined from the oral presentations and the award conferred at the meeting.

To be eligible for the New Investigator Award, applicants must :

  • be financial members of MBSANZ
  • have no more than 10 years post-doctoral experience
  • register for the conference and submit an abstract for an oral presentation by the date determined by the local organising committee
  • provide a short CV

Student Travel Awards 

ISMB provides international travel grants (up to 800 euros each) for young scientists (graduate students or postdocs up to 5 years after Ph.D., with extensions for maternity leave, military service, etc) to allow them to attend major meetings in matrix biology anywhere in the world. While priority will be given to meetings directly supported by ISMB (including Matrix Biology Europe, the American Society for Matrix Biology and the Pan Pacific Connective Tissue Societies Symposium), applications are accepted for any meeting, provided that the scope of the meeting agrees with the aims of the Society.

To apply for a travel grant, please send your application to the ISMB secretary, in the form of a single pdf file containing: (1) a letter giving information about the meeting, the amount requested and a detailed justification for support, (2) the abstract of your poster/short talk, (3) your curriculum vitae and list of publications. Please apply several months in advance of the meeting, before one of the following deadlines : January 1, April 1, July 1, October 1. Candidates should be members of the ISMB (see membership page for details).

Grants are for international travel only and will be awarded on the basis of scientific excellence and relevance to matrix biology. Successful candidates will be notified no more than one month after each deadline. Following the meeting, awardees will be expected to send to the ISMB a certificate of attendance as well as a short report (to appear on the ISMB web site with some selected for the ISMB newsletter) in the form of a personal perspective on their experience at the meeting.

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