Professor Julie Bines receives top science award for infectious disease research

Paediatric gastroenterologist awarded  Australian Museum Eureka Prize

Professor Julie Bines from the University of Melbourne has been awarded the Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research at Australia’s leading science award ceremony, the 2021 Australian Museum Eureka Prize.

The award was in recognition of Professor Bines’ development of the RV3-BB oral vaccine, which prevents rotavirus gastroenteritis in newborns, creating the potential to save many thousands of lives around the world.

Described by Professor Bines as “safe, effective and affordable”, the vaccine will be particularly vital for poorer countries in Africa and Asia, where the rotavirus is a leading cause of death among children and infants.

Professor Bines is the Victor and Loti Smorgon Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne and leads the Enteric Diseases Group and the RV3 Rotavirus Vaccine Program at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute.

Among this year’s nominees were the Doherty COVID Immunity Group, University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Doherty Institute, who were first to report on immune responses to COVID-19. The team used biological samples collected by rapid detection platform SETREP-ID, which has accelerated global immune research.