Through Dr Gregory, investigations into the chromosomal instability of cancer cells continue at Flinders, in the hopes of finding new strategies to fight the disease.
“Last year, Stephen moved to Flinders and he’s continuing that research, so the research goes on. But…” he says, shaking his head.
So, what made Professor Saint decide to leave such a distinguished and beloved career and move to a new university?
“I was attracted by the freshness of the place,” he says. “A new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Stirling, had just arrived, and it was a chance to take broad control of a research agenda. I was also aware of the high quality research that goes on here, but always with scope for further development.”
Since arriving, Professor Saint has sought to lift the profile of research in the institution as a core part of its mission. He’s set about building areas of research concentration and to increase the University’s engagement with external stakeholders to build the standing of its research among the community.
“The Vice-Chancellor and I have worked very much in concert to encourage the development of higher performing areas of focus for research,” he says.
“In the current research climate, you really need to be saying to funding organisations, to assessors, ‘We are very strong in this area, we’ll use the money productively if you give us the funds to do research.’”
Something that Professor Saint is particularly proud of is the wide range of research collaborations that Flinders has, not just with other universities and research institutes, but with key stakeholders.
“For example, our engagement with the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, which is responsible for running the Flinders Medical Centre where our medical researchers are co-located with the hospital, is critical to our health research success and to the translation of our research into practice,” he says. “Our engagement with industries, government and community organisations is equally relevant to our research mission.”