Minister announces 2014 Victoria Prize and Victoria Fellowships

26 August

Two of the state’s most respected research scientists were recognised for their outstanding work when they were presented with the Victorian Government’s richest individual science award, the Victoria Prize for Science & Innovation on Tuesday, 26 August 2014.

Innovation Minister Louise Asher today announced that Professor Ashley Bush was the winner of the 2014 Victoria Prize for Science & Innovation (Life Sciences) and that Professor Frank Caruso was the winner of the 2014 Victoria Prize for Science & Innovation (Physical Sciences).
 
“Professor Bush was recognised for his work exploring how key proteins and metals interact to contribute to degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and Professor Caruso’s research focused on the development and application of next generation nanomedicines,” Ms Asher said.
 
“The Florey Institute’s Professor Bush is internationally renowned for his outstanding body of work on translational neuroscience, which has included findings on the cause of Alzheimer’s disease and the importance of metal biology in degenerative brain diseases.
 
“Professor Caruso’s ground-breaking work at the University of Melbourne to engineer a new generation of miniature capsules for advanced drug and gene delivery may one day revolutionise treatments for cancer, AIDS and cardiovascular diseases.”
 
Managed by veski and funded by the Victorian Government, the annual Victoria Prize for Science & Innovation program provides each of the award winners in the physical sciences and the life sciences with a $50,000 prize.
 
Ms Asher also announced the 12 winners of the 2014 Victoria Fellowships, which each provide up to $18,000 to enable researchers in the early stages of their careers to undertake international study missions. 
 
Since 2011, the Victorian Coalition Government has provided $5.9 million for science prizes and fellowships.
 
The Victoria Prize and Victoria Fellowships were established by the Kennett Coalition Government in 1998, to support and celebrate the work of the people who drive Victoria’s science and innovation capabilities.
 
They now form the centrepiece of a group of state awards and fellowships that include the Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research, the Victorian Postdoctoral Research Fellowships, and the veski Innovation Fellowships.
 
In the 2012 State Budget, the Coalition Government doubled the number of Victoria Prizes and Victoria Fellowships on offer each year, and in 2013 appointed veski to deliver the Victoria Prize and the Victoria Fellowship on behalf of the Government.
 
The 2014 Victoria Fellowships were awarded to:

  • Dr Jacqueline Flynn from Burnet Institute will continue her research in the UK and France on how HIV infects immune cells.
  • Dr Peter Macreadie from Deakin University will study with the world’s leading authorities in the USA on how green infrastructure can produce better outcomes for coastal landscape management.
  • Ms Heather Nuske from La Trobe University will study brain imaging techniques in the UK to further her research on early diagnosis of autism.
  • Dr Udani Ratnayake from the Florey Institute will study current technologies in neuroscience for brain imaging of schizophrenia in the USA.
  • Dr Megan Rees from Monash University will study proteomics technology in Canada to better understand the bacteria causing tuberculosis.
  • Miss Freya Thomas from the University of Melbourne will continue her research in South Africa, Ireland, Spain, France and the USA into the tools for supporting biodiversity in fire prone environments.
  • Dr Timothy Crouch from Monash University will work with the innovative collaborations involved in the STE@M program in the USA to support his work on sports engineering.
  • Dr Zongsang Gan from Swinburne University of Technology will visit research organisations in the USA, Germany and China to further his work in Australia on improving optical storage instruments for big data.
  • Mr Tobias Horrocks from Fold Theory will visit designers in Europe, UK and the USA to study innovation in materials including cardboard to replace current building materials with more sustainable ones.
  • Dr Gregory Knowles from Monash University will study developments in amine adsorbents and carbon capture and storage technology in Scotland and France.
  • Dr David McCarthy from Monash University will investigate current research in the USA into recreational water epidemiology.
  • Mr Steven Wang from CSIRO and Monash University will continue his research in the USA on particle clustering that can separate solids and liquids in an industrial context.

 

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