Eureka moment for Monash researchers

Three groups of researchers from Monash have are finalists in the Eureka Prizes

Three groups of researchers from Monash have are finalists in the Eureka Prizes

Three groups of scientists from Monash University are in the running for prestigious Eureka Prizes as a result of their groundbreaking research.

A unique partnership between government and organisations committed to Australian science, the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are awarded annually.

This year, 16 prizes will be awarded in four categories - Research and Innovation, Leadership, Science Communication and Journalism, and School Science.

Researchers from the Monash Alfred Psychiatric Research Centre (MAPrc), the School of Biomedical Sciences (SOBS), and the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) are each in the running for three awards.

The ARMI research team, led by Deputy Director, Professor Peter Currie, with support from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research - have been shortlisted for the University of New South Wales Eureka Prize for Scientific Research.

Their study, published in the journal Nature last year, unravelled the mystery of stem cell generation by identifying for the first time mechanisms in the body that trigger hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) production.

PhD student Phong Nguyen, from the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science, was also a critical part of the team responsible for uncovering vital new information about these special cells.

SOBS researchers, Professor Trevor Lithgow and Dr Hsin-Hui Shen, are part a research consortium shortlisted for the Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research

Using nanoscale technology, their research has uncovered secrets about the surface structures of antibiotic resistant bacteria that could potentially transform modern medicine and antibiotics.

The third team shortlisted for the prizes is the EVestigators from MAPrc, led by Professors Jayashri Kulkarni and Brian Lithgow. The team is a finalist for the University of New South Wales Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research.

In an industry alliance with Neural Diagnostics Pty Ltd, Professor Lithgow’s EVestG invention was clinically evaluated at MAPrc, and has discovered for the first time that brainwave features recorded from the balance organ contain biomarker features that allow for an earlier, objective and more accurate diagnosis of mental and neurological conditions.

In 2015, evidence was published in the World Journal of Biological Psychiatry on being able to classify those with major depression with over 80 per cent accuracy within one hour of measurement using EVestG.

The winners will be announced on August 26. For more information on the Eureka Prize visit the Australian Museum website.