The achievements of six Western Australians who have excelled in their respective fields of science were acknowledged tonight when Science Minister Judy Edwards announced the winners of the Premier’s Science Awards.
This year’s winner of the major award, the Premier’s Prize for Achievement in Science, is Professor Simon Mallal, Executive Director of the Centre for Clinical Immunology and Biomedical Statistics at Royal Perth Hospital.
Professor Mallal is an HIV physician and immunologist who, with his team, has been internationally credited for making several key advances in HIV research, including the discovery that the HIV virus can mutate to avoid recognition by the immune system. This crucial discovery has received worldwide acclaim in the search for more effective vaccines against the deadly disease. -
The Premier’s Prize for Early Career Achievement in Science, open to nominees under 35 years of age, was awarded to Dr Graham Hall, a Senior Respiratory Scientist at Princess Margaret Hospital.
His research work focuses on the development and validation of non-invasive research methods, allowing critical information to be obtained on the causes or progressions of disease as they relate to children’s respiratory medicine.
Four Premier’s Prizes for Excellence in Science Teaching awards were presented in tertiary, secondary, and primary categories.
The tertiary Prize was awarded to Professor Robert Stick, a Chemistry Professor at The University of Western Australia, for his innovative and inspiring teaching methods.
Two secondary Prizes were awarded, to Ms Julie Weber of Merriden High School and Mr Hao Ta of Willetton High School.
Both recipients were acknowledged for their dedication and enthusiasm to encouraging students to take an interest in science.
The primary Prize was awarded to Mrs Natalie Birrell, a pre-primary science specialist at Huntingdale Primary School.
Dr Edwards said the awards were instigated in 2002, and it was particularly significant that the inaugural winner of the major award, Dr Barry Marshall, was recently announced as this year’s joint winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
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