A microscope-in-a-needle device to detect breast cancer and a collaborative sustainable grazing system project have earned researchers at The University of Western Australia a place in the finals of the Australian Museum's annual Eureka Prizes - the most prestigious prizes in Australian science.
For the second year in a row, Winthrop Professor David Sampson, Research Associate Professor Robert McLaughlin and Winthrop Professor Christobel Saunders have been selected as finalists for the ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology.
Their project is the development of the world's smallest hand-held microscope in a needle to display 3D images detailed enough to detect cancer cells. Their discovery will help guide surgeons to completely remove cancer more reliably in breast cancer surgery.
The Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre Enrich Project Team, which consists of researchers from UWA, CSIRO and the South Australian Research and Development Institute, has also made the finals of the Caring for our Country Landcare Eureka Prize for Sustainable Agriculture.
The Enrich project is a collaborative effort of researchers, extension staff and land managers across southern Australia. It aims to provide knowledge and development of sustainable grazing systems with multiple benefits for farmers in low-to-medium rainfall areas through the planting of Australian perennial shrubs. Associate Professor Phil Vercoe, from UWA's School of Animal Biology and Institute of Agriculture, is involved in native plant chemistry research as part of the Enrich project.
The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are Australia's most comprehensive national science awards, honouring excellence across four categories of research and innovation, leadership and commercialisation, science communication and journalism and school science. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Sydney on Wednesday 4 September.
Winthrop Professor David Sampson (Head, UWA Optical + Biomedical Engineering Laboratory) (+61 8) 6488 2770 / (+61 4) 14 239 586
Associate Professor Phil Vercoe (UWA School of Animal Biology and UWA Institute of Agriculture) (+61 8) 6488 6758
Michael Sinclair-Jones (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 00 700 783