Adrian and Andree Axelsen commemorate their son through research

The Simon Axelsen Memorial Fund (2009-present)

Simon Anders Axelsen graduated from UQ in 1984 with first class honours in Agricultural Science, and sadly succumbed to cancer at a young age.

“Life has been very good to us—with the exception of the loss of our only son to cancer at the age of 38 years—and we wanted to commemorate his life,” Mr and Mrs Axelsen said.

The Simon Axelsen Memorial Fund supports internationally-recognised IMB researcher, Professor David Craik, and his studies of cone snail venom as a potential lead for new treatments for chronic pain in humans.

Thanks to this fund, IMB made a world-first discovery—that cone snails change ‘weapons’, depending on whether they are hunting or defending themselves. In a practical sense, this discovery provides us a route to search for new venom toxins that act on human nerves and could be developed into treatments for millions of chronic pain sufferers.

With ongoing generous support from the Axelsens, we are investigating how these predatory and defensive venoms are produced and regulated, and using these findings to target those toxins with direct therapeutic potential.