Outstanding Monash mentor wins Eureka Prize

Prof Paul Wood AO
Prof Paul Wood AO

Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute Adjunct Professor in Microbiology Paul Wood AO has won the prestigious UTS Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers.

Professor Wood was nominated for his vision and leadership in establishing the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) program.

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes honour excellence across research and innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science. They are presented annually in partnership with leading scientific institutions, government organisations, universities, and corporations.

Professor Wood has been a full-time research scientist throughout his career, including at universities, the CSIRO, CSL and Pfizer. He now helps academic groups work with industry and has already received a number of awards, including the CSIRO Medal and Clunies Ross Award.

“This award is recognition of the effort of myself and my co-founders of IMNIS and is also a tribute to the hundreds of mentors who volunteer in this program,” Professor Wood said.

2022 UTS Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers winner, Professor Paul Wood AO discussing the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM program.

The idea for the IMNIS programme stemmed from a training program for PhD students called Project to Product, which was established alongside  Monash’s Associate Professor Jose Garcia-Bustos and Associate Professor Priscilla Johanesen to introduce PhD students to how to translate their science to products and work with industry.

IMNIS is now the premier Australian mentoring program for PhD students and early career postdocs in STEM, with over 400 individuals being mentored each year.

IMNIS continues to expand and is now a high-profile program within the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) and part of the new Elevate program to boost women in STEM.

The success of IMNIS is a credit to Professor Wood’s vision, leadership, and tenacity to design and build a mentoring program that would have the scale to make a real impact on the future careers of thousands of young researchers in Australia.

Read about other Monash finalists here.

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About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute 
Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Spanning seven discovery programs across Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Development and Stem Cells, Infection, Immunity, Metabolism, Diabetes and Obesity, and Neuroscience, Monash BDI is one of the largest biomedical research institutes in Australia. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.