Darren is the Associate Dean (Innovation and Enterprise, MDHS) at The University of Melbourne, the Director of Innovation and Enterprise at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) and Director of Biomedical Research in the Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, where his research expertise lies in progressing pre-clinical novel interventions and developing experimental models of cardiovascular disease. Concurrent to his role with The University of Melbourne, Darren is the CEO and Managing Director of Certa Therapeutics and Occurx, Australia, bringing over 25 years of management and research expertise in the life sciences and biotech sector. He has published over 200 manuscripts in the field of translational research and novel interventions many of which have had a direct impact on human disease. In 2009, Darren was a recipient of the prestigious TJ Neale award for outstanding contribution to nephrology. In 2015 Darren joined the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund as Venture Partner. Darren has proven history in translational research. He was previously Founder, CEO and Director of Fibrotech Therapeutics, a company that developed orally active anti-fibrotic inhibitors to treat underlying pathological fibrosis in kidney and heart failure, which was ultimately acquired by Shire Plc for a record 75 million USD upfront including milestone payments up to 600 million USD. Darren has a PhD in Translational Medicine from the University of Melbourne. He is a current member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, AusBiotech, BioMelbourne Network and a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology.
• Novel therapeutic interventions for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy: Application of Molecular and Cellular pathology, JDRF Career Development Award, CI Darren Kelly, $650,000 (2002-2007).
• Effect of PPAR-gamma agonists in experimental diabetic nephropathy. Lilly Endocrinology Research Grant R Langham, DJ Kelly and RE Gilbert, $23,000 (2002).
• Mechanisms of Renal Enlargement: The role of EGF receptor tyrosine kinase in early diabetic nephropathy. Diabetes Australia Research Trust, CI Darren Kelly, $39,100 (2004).
• The role of stems cells in the mesentery, CI Darren Kelly, St Vincent’s hospital Research grant, $3000.
• Effect of combined atorvastatin and quinapril in experimental diabetic nephropathy. Australian Kidney Foundation Medical Research Seeding Grant. R Langham, DJ Kelly and RE Gilbert $15,000 (2003).
• Effect of combined atorvastatin and quinapril in experimental diabetic nephropathy. Pfizer Cardiovascular Lipid Research Grant. R Langham, DJ Kelly and RE Gilbert $47,000 (2003)
• The role of growth factor inhibition in the diabetic Ren-2 rat. CI Richard Gilbert and Darren Kelly, GlaxoSmith Kline $197,000
• The role of ALK-5 (TGF-ß blockade) in chronic renal disease. CI Richard Gilbert and Darren Kelly, Glaxo Smith Kline, $160,000
• The role of renin inhibition in the diabetic Ren-2 rat kidney. CI Darren Kelly, Richard Gilbert, Novartis $185,000 USD.
• Analysis of RNA quantity and quality using the Agilent Bioanalyser. University of Melbourne Faculty of Medicine Equipment Grant, R Langham, R Gow, D Kelly, RE Gilbert. $39,000 (2004)
• The role of MAPK in the progression of diabetic nephropathy. CI Darren Kelly, St Vincent’s health, $5,000.
• Renal effects of the combination of quinapril and atorvastatin in experimental diabetic nephropathy. Kidney He
Education and training
Exec Dipl Bus Admin,
Universitas 21 Global
University of Melbourne 1998
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology 1994
Awards and honors
TJ Neale Award for Nephrology Research,
Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology,
Scholarship to study Masters of Business Administration, Universitas 21 Global,
Senior Investigator Award, St Vincent's Hospital,
Travel Grant to Lund, Sweden, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Australia,
Travel Grant to ANZSN DArwin, ANZSN,
Travel Grant to Miami, USA, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Australia,
Travel Grant to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, International Society of Hypertension.,
Travel Grant to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, High Blood Pressure Research Council,
Shepherd M Lowe Scholarship for diabetes research, University of Melbourne,
International Travel Grant to Helsinki, Finland and Copenhagen, Denmark, Servier Laboratories.,
International Travel Grant to Helsinki, Finland, European Society of Diabetes,
Postgraduate Scholarship, Mabel Kent Medical Faculty,
International Travel Grant to Glasgow, Scotland, National Heart Foundation,
International Travel Grant to Glasgow, Scotland, International Society of Hypertension.,
Astra Young Investigator, High Blood Pressure Research Council,