Monash receives two Australian Laureate Fellowships

Professor Kate Smith-Miles (L) and Professor Aidan Byrne, CEO of the Australian Research Council (ARC)

L-R: Professor Kate Smith-Miles and Professor Aidan Byrne, CEO of the Australian Research Council (ARC)

Two Monash University researchers have been awarded the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) prestigious 2014 Australian Laureate Fellowships. 

The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme supports outstanding Australian and international researchers and research leaders to build Australia’s research capacity, undertake innovative research programs and mentor early-career researchers. 

The 16 Australian Laureate Fellows for 2014 were announced today by Minister for Education, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, at a ceremony in Adelaide. 

Professor Kate Smith-Miles, School of Mathematical Sciences, and Professor Thomas Davis, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), were awarded the fellowships, which total more than $5.3 million. 

Professor Smith-Miles is also one of two female researchers to receive a Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship, which will see her take an ambassadorial role to promote women in research in addition to her research project. 

Vice-Provost (Research), Professor Pauline Nestor congratulated Professor Smith-Miles and Professor Davis on receiving the fellowships. 

“These prestigious fellowships are awarded to researchers who are undertaking research that delivers great benefits for Australia at both a national and international level,” Professor Nestor said.

“To be awarded these fellowships today is a true testament to the work these researchers are doing, as well as the research being undertaken at Monash University.” 

Professor Smith-Miles' project aims to develop a new paradigm in algorithm testing, creating novel test instances and tools to elicit insights into algorithm strengths and weaknesses. 

Such advances are urgently needed to support good research practice in academia, and to avoid disasters when deploying algorithms in practice. 

Professor Davis' project aims to design novel nanoparticulate systems for the delivery of both an endogenous signalling molecule and genes to cells. The project aims to inform future optimal design criteria for bespoke nanoparticle delivery systems. 

A thorough understanding of how nanoparticles interact with biological systems is imperative if advances are to be made in using nanotechnology for therapeutic applications. 

Fundamental aspects of nanoparticle transport, targeting and cell uptake will be investigated. 

In 2013, Monash received two Australian Laureate Fellowships recognising the work of Professor Arthur Lowery and Professor Trevor Lithgow.

In 2012, the University received three Australian Laureate Fellowships recognising the work of Professor Douglas MacFarlane, Professor Michael Fuhrer and Professor Nicholas Wormald. 

Professor Davis was appointed earlier this year under the Monash Warwick Alliance. The Monash Warwick Alliance is an innovative approach to higher education that is accelerating the exchange of people, ideas and information between Monash and Warwick Universities.