Eureka Prize acknowledges giant leaps forward in science

October 16 / 187

Professor Leanne Tilley, part of the Eureka Prize-winning research team looking at malaria treatments.
Professor Leanne Tilley, part of the Eureka Prize-winning research team looking at malaria treatments.

Melbourne researchers were well represented in the Australian Museum’s prestigious Eureka Prizes for 2016, with three winning projects involving our scientific and medical investigators.

The Scopus Eureka Prize for Excellence in International Scientific Collaboration was awarded to the project FANTOM5, which drew collaboration from 260 specialists in20 countries, including 22 Australian researchers from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, the University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, the Translational Research Institute, Telethon Kids Institute, and RIKEN Japan.

The FANTOM5 project is mapping the sets of genes expressed in each of our cell types, which will be used to interpret genetic diseases and engineer new cells for therapeutic use.

Professor Leanne Tilley, Dr Nick Klonis, Associate Professor Julie Simpson and Associate Professor James McCaw won the Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research, in recognition of a number of key scientific discoveries made by the team, leading to insights into how resistance to the anti-malarial drug artemisinin may be overcome.

Malaria kills nearly half a million children each year, and the emergence of resistance to this first-line medicine, is looming as a major global health crisis.

Watch the team’s finals presentation.


The UNSW Eureka Prize for Scientific Research was awarded to ‘Kidney in a Dish’, a project under the auspices of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute led by Professor Melissa Little of the University’s Paediatrics Department.

Kidney disease affects one in 10 Australians, with kidney failure increasing at six percent per annum. Recognising the urgent need for new treatment options, Professor Melissa Little and Dr Minoru Takasato have recreated human kidney tissue from stem cells, opening the door to disease modelling, drug screening, and ultimately replacement organs.

Check out all the Eureka Prize winners and their amazing achievements.

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