Monash University team of scientists win prestigious Eureka Prize for ground-breaking milk research

Professor Ben Boyd and his team - the Monash Pharmaceutical Milkshake Team at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) - has been awarded the 2020 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology in the nation’s top science awards.

The Eureka Prizes recognise excellence in research, leadership, innovation, science engagement and school science and are presented annually in partnership with Australia’s top scientific institutions, universities and government organisations.

Ben Boyd

Professor Boyd and team have been awarded the ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology, acknowledging their innovative new synchrotron-based methods to study the interaction of milk and milk-like systems with drugs.

The team members based in the Drug Delivery Disposition and Dynamics theme at MIPS are Professor Boyd, Dr Malinda Salim, Dr Andrew Clulow and Ms Gisela Ramirez. Dr Adrian Hawley from the Australian Synchrotron is also an integral part of the team, providing the critical link to this major infrastructure that has been crucial to the advances made during the project.

The team is breaking new ground in understanding how milk and similar systems can be used to enhance oral drug delivery. Their work has created the development of novel formulations for progressing new safe drugs for children, including the first ever single dose cure for malaria.

“I’m grateful to the Eureka Prizes team for awarding the team this prestigious award. We’re excited to see our work into oral drug delivery gaining acknowledgement on the national stage,” says Professor Boyd.

“Milk is a huge staple in almost everyone’s diet, starting from the day they’re born. We know it’s nutritious, but we don’t know a lot about how we process it in our body. We want to know what else we can gain from examining the way we digest milk, from enhancing drug solubilisation to creating new tailored infant formulas.”

Director of MIPS, Professor Chris Porter says: “On behalf of MIPS, I am delighted to congratulate Professor Boyd and the Milkshake Team on their well-deserved award and to acknowledge their continued innovation in oral drug delivery.”

“The Eureka Prizes are the nation’s most prestigious science awards, representing one the highest honours in research and innovation in Australia. This award is a reflection of Professor Boyd’s pioneering approach to research, in this case in utilising nature’s own drug delivery system.”

The Monash Milk Team receive much of their funding from the Australian Research Council and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The work has also been strongly supported by the Australian Synchrotron.

To read more about the work of the Monash Milk Team visit Monash Lens.