Georgina Sweet Awards 2020 - Virtual Event

On Monday 12th October, more than 130 people joined us to recognise the achievements of the 6 award Recipients, and make the Georgina Sweet Awards Virtual Event such a successful celebration.

Professor Melissa Brown & Associate Professor Antje Blumenthal
Associate Professor Guozhen Liu & Professor Leann Tilley
Associate Professor Makrina Totsika & Professor Frances Separovic
Associate Professor Jessica Mar & Professor Aleksandra Filipovska
Dr Sarah Auburn & Associate Professor Elin Gray
Dr Sarah Auburn & Associate Professor Elin Gra
Professor Mibel Aguilar & Associate Professor Michelle Dunstone
Panel Discussion
Panel Discussion

Award Ceremony Zoom Recording

Please find the Zoom Recording of the Virtual Event which includes presentations from all the award winners

Award Winners Presentations

Georgina Sweet Awards Presentation explaining their scientific achievements and vision. These are an extended scientific presentation (15 minutes).

Associate Professor Antje Blumenthal Presentation 

Associate Professor Guozhen Liu Presentation

Associate Professor Makrina Totsika Presentation 

Associate Professor Elin Gray Presentation 

Associate Professor Jessica Mar Presentation

Associate Professor Michelle Dunstone Presentation

Password: SWEET20

About the Award Winners

Associate Professor Antje Blumenthal 

Associate Professor Antje Blumenthal
University of Queensland

Associate Professor Antje Blumenthal is fascinated by the interactions between our immune system and pathogenic bacteria. Her goal is to create the foundations for improved treatments for bacterial infections that pose significant threats to global health. A microbiology graduate from Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel (Germany), she pursued her PhD research in Immunology at the Leibniz Research Center for Medicine and Biosciences (Germany), before moving to Weill Cornell Medical College, New York (USA) for her postdoctoral training. She relocated to Australia as Balzan Research Fellow to establish her laboratory at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, where she heads her program on molecular regulators of host-pathogen-interactions and novel antimicrobials, supported by major international and national funding. Antje was recently honoured as Fellow of the Australian Society for Microbiology and Winner of the Women in Technology Life Sciences Research Leader Award 2019. Through leadership roles within her University and professional societies, she drives initiatives that promote equal career opportunities, and foster diverse and inclusive organisational cultures.

Read about Associate Professor Antje Blumenthal’s research here

Associate Professor Guozhen Liu 

Associate Professor Guozhen Liu
University of NSW

Associate Professor Guozhen Liu is an ARC Future Fellow at Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales (UNSW), leading a research team working on Integrated Devices and Intelligent Diagnostics (ID2, She finished her Bachelor's and Master’s degree in China before moving to Sydney for her PhD in Chemistry from UNSW. Her career has been alternating between industry and academia. Additional to work with universities, she has accumulated extensive research and management experience with industry (such as AgaMatrix Inc) on medical devices for diabetes. She focuses on interdisciplinary and translational research to develop biosensing technologies for point-of-care diagnostics, wearable devices, in vivo cytokine monitoring, and intelligent nanoparticles which is closely engaged with industry sections. She is the inventor of 11 patents, and a co-founder at Bio-Sens Tech Pty Ltd. Her patented technologies have attracted interests and over $2M funding from industries, such as AstraZeneca, BioLegend, AgaMatrix Inc, Regeneus Ltd, etc.

Read about Associate Professor Guozhen Liu’s research here

Associate Professor Makrina Totsik 

Associate Professor  Makrina Totsika
Queensland University of Technology

Associate Professor Makrina Totsika is a molecular microbiologist and Program Leader for Infection Control at Queensland University of Technology.  Leaving Greece straight after high-school with a desire to study genetics, Makrina earned a First-Class BSc(Hons) in Biological Sciences (Genetics), an MSc by Research (Distinction) and a PhD in Bacterial Genetics from the University of Edinburgh; only made possible by a prestigious Wellcome Trust 4-year scholarship. She then moved to Australia for postdoctoral research and was awarded an ARC DECRA in 2013. A year later, Makrina established her own lab at Queensland University of Technology, where she and her team study antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria, with a focus on understanding their molecular weapons and developing new drugs to block them. Makrina was named Queensland’s 2016 Young Tall Poppy of the Year and her work has been recognised by the Australian Society for Medical Research 2016 Queensland Senior Researcher Award and the Australian Society for Microbiology 2018 Frank Fenner Award.

Read about Associate Professor Makrina Totsika’s research here

Associate Professor Elin Gray 

Associate Professor Elin Gray
Edith Cowan University

Associate Professor Elin Gray is a Cancer Council WA Research Fellow and Group Leader at the School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University. Elin completed a BSc in Biochemistry at the University of Havana, Cuba, and obtained her PhD degree at University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. She was a visiting Fogarty Fellow at the Vaccine Research Centre at the NIH, Maryland; and at Duke University, North Carolina, USA. Since moving to Perth in 2011, her research has focused on identifying diagnostic and prognostic blood-based biomarkers for melanoma. She utilises novel techniques and genetic analysis methodologies to study circulating tumour cells, circulating tumour DNA and exosomes, towards the development of liquid biopsies that can provide tumour-specific information to guide disease management and treatment decisions.

Read about Associate Professor Elin Gray’s research here

Associate Professor Jessica Mar 

Associate Professor Jessica Mar
University of Queensland

Associate Professor Jessica Mar is a Group Leader and ARC Future Fellow at the University of Queensland. Jess conducts research in computational biology and bioinformatics. Collectively, the Mar Group draws upon our combined expertise in statistics, computer programming, biology, mathematics and genetics to answer questions in medical research. Jess has a First Class Honours degree in Statistics from the University of Queensland and a PhD in Biostatistics from Harvard University. She has spent time as a visiting scientist at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge, UK, a postdoctoral fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and an Assistant Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. In July 2018, Jess relocated back to Australia after spending 16 years overseas. Jess has received several awards, including a Fulbright scholarship (2003) and the Metcalf Prize for Stem Cell Research from the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia (2017).

Read about Associate Professor Jessica Mar’s research here

Associate Professor Michelle Dunston 

Associate Professor Michelle  Dunstone
Monash University

A/Prof Michelle Dunstone is an ARC Future Fellow Monash University’s Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Michelle’s passion lies in discovering how hole-punching proteins change shape.  She was initially trained in crystallography in the laboratory of Prof Michael Parker at St. Vincent's Institute, Australia. Her original PhD project focused on how the immune system uses hole-punching proteins to tackle bacteria. She moved to Monash University where she was able to expand on her passion to study more hole-punching proteins from the immune system, fungi and bacteria. Michelle literally takes snapshots of the protein shape, right down to the atomic level, using either the Australian Synchrotron or the Ramaciotti Centre for Cryo-Electron Microscopy. The culmination of her research has led to understanding how the final hole-punching proteins make these large pores but her next is in the application of these proteins for nano-technology and pest control.

Read about Associate Professor Michelle Dunstone’s research here

Program - Monday 12th October

TimeTitle of SessionSpeaker
2.15pmRegistrants  Welcome to join meeting 

2.30pm AEDT


Prof. Leann Tilley
University of Melbourne  &
Dr Jen Martin
University of Melbourne
 Award Presentations 
2.40pmAward Presentation to Associate Professor Antje BlumenthalProf. Melissa Brown
University of Queensland
2.45pmAssociate Professor Antje Blumenthal presentationAssoc. Prof. Antje Blumenthal
University of Queensland
2.55pmAward presentation to Associate Professor Guozhen LiuProf. Jacqui Matthews
University of Sydney
3.00pmAssociate Professor Guozhen Liu presentationAssoc. Prof. Guozhen Liu
University NSW
3.10pmAward presentation to Associate Professor Makrina TotsikaProf. Frances Separovic
University of Melbourne
3.15pmAssociate Professor Makrina Totsika presentationAssoc. Prof. Makrina Totsika
Queensland University of Technology
3.25pmAward presentation to Associate Professor Elin GrayProf. Aleksandra Filipovska
Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research,
University of Western Australia
3.30pmAssociate Professor Elin Gray presentationAssoc. Prof. Elin Gray
Edith Cowan University
3.40pmAward presentation to Associate Professor Jessica MarDr. Sarah Auburn
Menzies School of Health Research,
Charles Darwin University
3.45pmAssociate Professor Jessica Mar presentationAssoc. Prof. Jessica Mar
University of Queensland
3.55pmAward presentation to Michelle DunstoneProf. Mibel Aguilar
Monash University
4.00pmMichelle Dunstone presentationAssoc. Prof. Michelle Dunstone
Monash University
4.10pmPanel Discussion led by Dr. Jen Martin including all Award WinnersDr. Jen Martin
University of Melbourne
4.40pmGroup Photo of the Awardees and Audience 
4.45pmGeneral Discussion with Questions from the audience led by Dr. Jen MartinDr. Jen Martin
University of Melbourne
5.00pmVirtual Drinks and farewell

Upcoming Events

    • Monday 12th October 

      • Virtual Awards Ceremony 2.30pm - 5.00pm (AEDT - Melbourne)

        Please join us for a virtual event to celebrate the six winners of the Georgina Sweet Awards for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science. The Award Ceremony including Discussion panel will take place virtually via Zoom on Monday 12th October.

        There are six awardees, including two who not only demonstrate excellence in Quantitative Biomedical Science but also excel in promoting diversity and inclusion.

      • Each of the six awardees will make a brief presentation followed by a panel chaired by award winning science communicator, Dr Jen Martin and a general discussion, with lots of virtual audience participation throughout.

      • RSVP by Monday 5th October: Eventbrite
      • Queries:
      • View Event Flyer
      • If registering on the day, a Zoom Link will be sent 1hr and 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting
      • Phone Contact: +61 3 8344 2312 or +61 3 8344 2275

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