The work of two of The University of Western Australia's medical researchers has been showcased among Australia's best research projects in a new publication launched by the Federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler.
The National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) ‘10 of the Best Research Projects 2010' booklet profiles the work of Winthrop Professor Susan Prescott of the School of Paediatrics and Child Health and Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger of the Centre for Medical Research.
Professor Prescott's work is looking at whether the immune system is responsible for ongoing health problems such as food allergies and asthma. Working with expectant mothers and babies, this research has identified dietary and environmental factors that affect the development of the child's immune system and their future health.
Professor Prescott is internationally recognised for her research in the area of allergy and early immune development. Her contributions in this area have already been translated into novel concepts and lead to a paradigm shift in the pathogenesis of allergic disease.
Associate Professor Pfleger's research focuses on a group of proteins (G protein coupled receptors) that regulate how cells respond to hormones and neurotransmitters, with the goal of improving the bodies' response to drugs, increasing effectiveness and reducing side effects.
Associate Professor Pfleger received the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research's top accolade for young researchers, the 2009 Marshall Medal and was the 2009 Western Australian Young Scientist of the Year. He has also been acknowledged with an Australian Research Council four-year Future Fellowship.
The NHMRC 10 of the Best Research Projects 2010 booklet has been written for the general public to demonstrate the benefits of research resulting from public investment.
Winthrop Professor Susan Prescott (UWA School of Paediatrics and Child Health) (+61 8) 9340 8171
Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger (UWA Centre for Medical Research) (+61 8) 9346 1980
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716