[ASC-media] Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science announced today; plus millions of dollars for cancer diagnostics and cardiovascular disease

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com.au
Tue Oct 17 14:50:34 PDT 2017



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Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science announced today; plus millions of dollars for cancer diagnostics and cardiovascular disease





Dear ASCers,

Today in Canberra (on embargo until 5pm Canberra time)

Sex, dragons, toothpaste, lasers, genes

Six of Australia’s top scientists, innovators and science educators will receive the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, sharing in $700,000 of prize money.

The winners are from Sydney, Wollongong, Brisbane and Melbourne and are available for interview.

Media opportunities:
·         12 pm – 12.30 pm: embargoed press call and meet the recipients with Minister Michaelia Cash in the Great Hall, Parliament House
·         1 pm: bearded dragon photo call on Parliament House Forecourt
·         5 pm: embargo lifts
·         7 pm: recipients available for photographs with the Prime Minister and Minister Cash in the Marble Foyer, Parliament House.
Embargoed media pages with profiles, photos and videos available at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/prime-ministers-prize<https://scienceinpublic.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d83751047dc5a93e0049c04bf&id=19ffe1f816&e=a93b5a4da4>

Call me for a password if you need access to hit a publication deadline.

For further information, passwords, photos and interviews please contact me on 03 9398 1416, 0417 131 977 or niall at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:niall at scienceinpublic.com.au>

Also today:

  *   How obesity and salt send blood stem cells into overdrive, blocking arteries and causing cardio vascular disease
  *   A blood test to reduce biopsies and provide gentler, more thorough cancer testing.
Two Melbourne scientists have each been awarded an $1.25 million, five-year, CSL Centenary Fellowship to further research into gentler, more effective cancer diagnostics and, to advance understanding of what really causes our arteries to clog.

  *   Associate Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  *   Associate Professor Andrew Murphy of The Baker Institute
The awards were presented overnight in Melbourne. Read CSL's media release below.

Kind regards,

Niall







Australian scientists awarded $2.5m to support research into cancer diagnostics and cardiovascular disease

  *   High res photos, HD footage available
  *   Photo and interview opportunities with CSL Centenary Fellows
  *   Media contact: Christina Hickie Christina.Hickie at csl.com.au<mailto:Christina.Hickie at csl.com.au>, 03 9389 3425, 0429 609 762
Two Australian scientists have each been awarded an AUD$1.25 million, five-year, CSL Centenary Fellowship to further research into gentler, more effective cancer diagnostics and, to advance understanding of what really causes our arteries to clog.

Associate Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson and Associate Professor Andrew Murphy will be funded through the $25 million CSL Centenary Fellowships program, which was established in 2016 to foster excellence in medical research by supporting mid-career Australian scientists to pursue world-class research.

Associate Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is pioneering the use of ‘liquid biopsies’ for gentler, more thorough cancer testing.

She’s developing simple blood tests for a wide range of cancers as an alternative to painful, invasive tissue biopsies. The tests identify the tiny fragments of DNA shed by tumour cells into a cancer patient’s blood stream.

Having already been trialled in breast cancer patients, Sarah-Jane says the tests will help in every phase of treatment, quickly identifying the type of cancer, tailoring treatment to the individual, monitoring their progress, and - once the patient has completed treatment - checking for signs of relapse.

The CSL Centenary Fellowship will enable Sarah-Jane to develop the tests for some of the most common cancer types, and accelerate the translation of these tests from the lab into the clinic so they can benefit more of the 400,000 plus Australians living with cancer.

Associate Professor Andrew Murphy of The Baker Institute has his spotlight on ‘hematopoietic’ stem cells (the cells that give rise to all the other blood cells and reside in our red bone marrow).

He wants to understand why high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of exercise and smoking drives the over-production of white blood cells leading to arterial plaques and often heart attack or stroke.

Cracking the mechanism of action at a cellular level could lead to a new generation of drugs to fight cardiovascular disease.

With the CSL Centenary Fellowship he’s going to investigate:

  *   how changes in blood glucose influence white blood cell production
  *   how a high salt diet encourages blood stem cells to leave the bone marrow
  *   a therapy that might encourage bone marrow to make more blood stem cells when we need them for cancer treatment.
“Australian research has an excellent track record in new discoveries to address the world’s unmet medical needs,” said CSL CEO & Managing Director Paul Perreault.

“At CSL, we are driven by our promise to save lives and protect the health of people around the world. We’re extremely proud to support academic research that holds the potential to change lives for the better. Our Centenary Fellowships honour CSL’s long legacy of contributing to innovative medicines, particularly for patients suffering serious diseases.”

CSL Chief Scientific Officer Dr Andrew Cuthbertson says Sarah-Jane and Andrew are the embodiment of what the Fellowships aim to achieve.

“Innovation is one of the core values that guide CSL’s significant investment into frontier medical research, so it is fitting that the Centenary Fellowships foster the best scientists in Australia who will shape the next generation of critical breakthroughs.”

“Growing skills and expertise through well-funded, long-term support is essential in helping the Australian research community continue to thrive,” Andrew said.

Find out more at www.cslfellowships.com.au/fellows.aspx<https://scienceinpublic.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d83751047dc5a93e0049c04bf&id=96ca93f29c&e=a93b5a4da4>







More about Science in Public
We're always happy to help put you in contact with scientists. Our work is funded by the science world - from the Prime Minister's Science Prizes to Nature. We're keen to suggest interesting people and stories - and not just those of our clients.
If you're looking for ideas or people for features we know hundreds of science prize winners past, present, and future and are always happy to chew the fat about the developing themes in Australian science.
Feel free to pass these stories along to colleagues. And between bulletins, you can follow me on Twitter (@scienceinpublic<https://scienceinpublic.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d83751047dc5a93e0049c04bf&id=9272c440de&e=a93b5a4da4>) for more science news and story tips.

Kind regards,
________

Niall Byrne

Creative Director
Science in Public

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03 9398 1416, 0417 131 977

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