Science Awards

It's the miniaturization of science about to have a massive impact globally.

Infectious diseases need rapid diagnosis and treatment, but sending samples for testing in laboratories can take days or weeks. For two decades, Professor Stephen Haswell of Deakin University and his team have been developing portable technology that can arrest infections on-the-spot and save lives. A medical professional can use this device and the smartphone for helping them interpret the best kind of diagnosis the best type of treatment, the best course of action to take with someone that may be in front of them, pretty ill at the time and even better you can use the device to check that treatment is working for that particular person.

A radical treatment for cancer is on the way. Professor Guillaume Lessene, and his group at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research have invented a new type of drug called BH3 Mimetics which enters cancer cells and causes them to suicide. Noel Chambers says "The thing about cancer cells is that they simply don't die, they keep reproducing, so this is a novel mechanism of actually treating the cancers. This tricks them into actually saying this is program cell death." Noel Chambers CEO National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation monitors research work around Australia and finds donors, companies and experts to support and finance great innovations.

Professor Haswell's lab-on a chip has been awarded $372,000 by the National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation and the Department of Primary Industries. Professor Lessene's anti-cancer discovery wins the John Dixon Hughes Medal and $50,000.

Alot of amazing discoveries sadly disappear because of lack of support. But the importance of Awards like this are that they advance them to the next stages so they can get the necessary government approvals to manufacture and supply the technology.

The lab-on-a-chip should start being available in two years. The anti-cancer drugs, within the next few years.

For more information

National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation

GPO Box 9986 Sydney NSW 2001

PO Box 6247 Highton VIC 3216

W:www.nfmri.org.au