An award-winning scientist who found a way to reverse one of the causes of floppy baby syndrome, a paralysing disorder that affects thousands of infants worldwide, will deliver this year's Karrakatta Club Lecture.
Dr Kristen Nowak, research fellow at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) and UWA Centre for Medical Research, was lead author of the research published last month in the Journal of Cell Biology.
In 1999, Dr Nowak discovered that defects in a particular gene could cause multiple skeletal muscle diseases - a previously unknown cause. She was awarded an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) CJ Martin Fellowship to spend two years in Professor Kay Davies' Laboratory at the Department of Human Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford.
While working in the Oxford laboratory, Dr Nowak began working towards finding a therapy for floppy baby syndrome. She went on to develop a tool leading to the establishment of world-wide screening centres, including one based in Perth, to diagnose the condition.
In this lecture, Dr Nowak will share her personal journey from Oxford to Perth in her quest to find a cure for this and other often severe and debilitating diseases. The recipient of the Premier's Prize for Early Career Achievement in Science in 2007, she is passionate about promoting science and medical research and is also an Executive Director of the Australian Society for Medical Research.
The annual lecture is co-sponsored by the Karrakatta Club and the Institute of Advanced Studies at UWA. The Karrakatta Club of Western Australia is the first women's club in Australia, founded in Perth in 1894.
WHAT: Karrakatta Club Lecture
WHEN: 6pm, Wednesday 10 June, 2009
WHERE: Social Sciences Lecture Theatre (Faculty of Arts Building). Enter UWA from Hackett Drive Entrance 1.
Susan Takao (Institute of Advanced Studies) (+61 8) 6488 8037
Dr Kristen Nowak (Centre for Medical Research) (+61 8) 9346 7377 / (+61 4) 31 568 651
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716