Congratulations Dr Laura Mackay: Victorian Young Tall Poppy Science Award winner

Dr Laura Mackay has been selected as a 2016 Victorian Young Tall Poppy – an award designed to celebrate up-and-coming scientists who combine world-class research with a passionate commitment to communicating science. Dr Mackay, from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Biomedical Sciences, heads a lab at the Doherty Institute.

Dr Mackay is one of 10 winners announced today by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS), showcasing the diversity of the research carried out in Victoria.

“My research looks at the identification of tissue-resident memory T cells, which reside in barrier tissues in the body. These immune cells are critical to combatting viral infection and can form an effective first line of defence,” she said.

“I’m so honoured to be a Victorian Young Tall Poppy, it’s a testament to the fantastic team of scientists I work with and I’m really looking forward to the year ahead where I can share my knowledge and experience with the community.”

Dr Mackay’s work has major implications for developing vaccine strategies to induce immune cells in tissues that protect locally against a wide range of infections.

“The Tally Poppy award is a testament to Laura’s undeniable talent and dedication as a young biomedical researcher and the contributions she has already made. It is a great privilege to count such a gifted and enthusiastic young researcher in our ranks and we all congratulate Laura on this wonderful recognition,” said Professor Fabienne Mackay, Head of School of Biomedical Sciences.

“Laura is an incredible young scientist and a much-deserving winner of a Tall Poppy prize, she has already achieved a great deal in research and academia” Doherty Institute Director, Professor Sharon Lewin said.

“She is such a fantastic ambassador for science and I congratulate her on behalf of everyone here at the Doherty Institute.”

AIPS General Manager, Ms Camille Thomson said many Young Tall Poppies go on to become inspiring leaders in their field.

“They also help to be positive science ambassadors by working with the education and community sectors to encourage greater engagement in science,” Ms Thomson said.

As part of the Young Tall Poppy campaign, award winners will spend a year sharing their knowledge with school students, teachers and the broader community through workshops, seminars and public lectures.

This article is based on an article which first appeared in the Doherty Institute News and Events. Click here to view the original.