Alumni Award for Regional Leadership
2018 Finalist - Associate Professor Darren Shafren, Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine) 1991, Bachelor of Science 1986
Associate Professor Darren Shafren is Viralytics chief scientific officer and founder of the company’s technology which was acquired earlier this year for a record $502 million. Viralytics lead product CAVATAK, is a form of common cold virus which infects and kills cancer cells by awaking the immune system and encouraging anti-cancer activity. Dr Shafren is also Associate Professor of Virology in the Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle based at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) where he leads a research staff of 20 scientists and research personnel.
His work has been peer reviewed and acknowledged by international, scientific publications. His career in virology and immunotherapy has been one of significant progress, starting in 1998 when he was awarded the HMRI Young Medical Researcher of the Year prize and continuing through until the current day. His expertise is manifested in clinical trials completed and underway at multiple prestigious cancer research centres in The United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.