Eight Monash academics nominated finalists in 2019 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes

Eight esteemed academics from Monash University are in the running for the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes – the nation’s leading science awards – which raise the profile of science and science engagement in the community.

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes honour excellence across the areas of research and innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science, and are presented annually in partnership with some of the country’s leading scientific institutions, government organisations, universities and corporations.

Researchers from the School of Biological Sciences, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Faculty of Engineering are each in the running for one of 17 awards across four categories.

Monash finalists for the 2019 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are:

Defence, Science and Technology Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia

The Broad Spectrum Respiratory Canister Team – Associate Professor Matthew Hill

  • This collaborative project with CSIRO, Defence Science and Technology Group and Spectrum Innovation Pty Ltd has led to the development of new respirator canister technology that can protect military personnel from weaponised toxic chemical gases and vapours. This offers a step change from existing technology, which sometimes provides minimal protection, giving soldiers a greater chance to safely complete their mission.

UNSW Eureka Prize for Scientific Research

Professor Mariapia Degli-Esposti and Dr Chris Andoniou

  • Professor Mariapia Degli-Esposti and her team have developed a novel, non-toxic and highly effective strategy to reduce the impact of the cytomegalovirus infection in bone marrow transplant recipients by preventing viral reactivation following transplantation. Cytomegalovirus infection is a frequent and life-threatening complication that significantly limits positive outcomes for bone marrow transplant patients.

3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science

Dr Francine Marques

  • Driven by the belief that everyone has the right to age healthily, research by Dr Francine Marques looks at the little understood role fibre plays in lowering blood pressure through changes in gut microbes. Through national and international leadership roles, she dedicates a considerable amount of time to mentoring young scientists.

University of Technology Sydney Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers

Professor Paul Wood AO

  • Professor Paul Wood AO is a highly respected mentor and the driving force behind the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) program. His vision and advocacy has seen more than 300 PhD researchers from 17 universities encouraged to reach their fullest potential through close mentorship with senior industry professionals.

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion

Sensory Science – Professor Jamie Rossjohn, Dr Gabby Watson and Dr Erica Tandori 

  • This collaborative project with UNSW has established a series of interactive exhibitions that are specifically designed for a low or no vision audience. The events enable participants – ranging from primary school students to senior citizens – to engage with fundamental scientific concepts and to learn about the latest biomedical research happening in Australian universities.

Each prize is judged by a panel of eminent and qualified individuals, whose contribution of expertise and time helps support the credibility of the Eureka Prizes, with winners to be announced on Wednesday, 28 August.

For more information about the nominees from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, read the article here.

For more information about Dr Francine Marques' research, read the article here.

For more information about the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes, please visit https://australianmuseum.net.au/get-involved/eureka-prizes/