Annual science award recognises life changing research

The Australian Museum’s annual science award, the Eureka Prize has recognised multiple researchers and their work at the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne.

Associate Professor Laura Mackay, a Laboratory Head at the Doherty Institute, received the Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher.

Widely regarded as a leader in the field of immunological memory, Associate Professor Mackay has discovered that a novel population of immune cells, called tissue-resident T cells, are critical for immune protection against infection and cancer. Harnessing these cells will be key for the development of new immunotherapeutic strategies against disease.

Early career researcher, Associate Professor Mackay, on her award-winning immunological memory work

A team from the Endovascular Bionics Laboratory at the Melbourne Medical School, with colleagues from the Melbourne School of Engineering and Synchron Inc., a University start-up, received the UNSW Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research for their technology to restore movement in patients with paralysis.

The Endovascular Bionics Laboratory team on their research to restore movement in paralysis patients

The Vivax Malaria research team led by Associate Professor Wai-Hong Tham, Professor Ivo Mueller and Associate Professor Leanne Robinson in the Department of Medical Biology at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research received the Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre prize for Infectious Diseases Research.

Through combined expertise in structural biology, immuno-epidemiology and mathematical modelling, they are working to develop new diagnostics and vaccine candidates to eliminate malaria.

The Vivax Malaria research team on their work to develop new diagnostics and vaccines for malaria

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor James McCluskey said: 'I extend my warmest congratulations to the Eureka Prize winners for this outstanding work.'

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are for excellence in the fields of research & innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science.