A public health researcher whose groundbreaking work has helped prevent birth defects and a biomedical scientist who helped pioneer a microscope-in-a-needle to detect cancer cells are two of eight leading academics from The University of Western Australia among 15 finalists in this year’s Premier’s Science Awards.
Professor Carol Bower, Senior Principal Research Fellow from the UWA-affiliated Telethon Kids Institute and Professor David Sampson, Director of UWA’s Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis, were both announced as finalists in the Scientist of the Year category.
Professor Bower was part of an international team that confirmed a link between maternal intake of folate and the prevention of neural tube defects such as spina bifida in babies. She is currently working in the area of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
A world leader in imaging science and engineering, Professor Sampson is internationally recognised for his research in biomedical imaging technology, including the award-winning microscope-in-a-needle. He has built an imaging infrastructure for researchers in Western Australia that attracts the world’s best, including the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Dr Scott Draper from UWA’s School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering and Dr James Fitzpatrick, from Telethon Kids Institute have been named finalists in the Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year.
In the ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year category, the finalists are all from UWA: Dr Christopher Brennan-Jones from Ear Sciences Centre, Carl Blair from the School of Physics, Tim Rosenow from Telethon Kids Institute and Melanie Walls from the School of Women’s and Infants’ Health.
The awards, a State Government initiative, were established in 2002 to honour the outstanding achievements of WA’s science and innovation community.
Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 18 August, during National Science Week, Australia’s largest annual celebration of science.
Jess Reid (UWA Media and Public Relations) (+61 8) 6488 6876