Dr Ivan Poon and Dr Brian Abbey were recognised for their world-class research at the Australian Institute of Policy and Science’s annual Young Tall Poppy Science Awards in November 2016.
Dr Ivan Poon is an expert on apoptosis, or cell death. Determining the molecular mechanisms behind cell fragmentation could lead to new treatments for diseases associated with cell death, including cardiovascular, autoimmune and infectious diseases.
Dr Brian Abbey specialises in developing new methods to image proteins. He also led Australia’s first ever experiment on the world’s most powerful X‐ray laser, the X‐ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) at Stanford University in the United States.
LIMS has seven Young Tall Poppy recipients in its ranks
Pictured above, Dr Abbey and Dr Poon are joined by:
Dr Mark Hulett (2002 recipient), who specialises in understanding the molecular basis of cell migration in the context of cancer and inflammation. Defining the mechanisms that drive these processes will direct novel strategies for the treatment of tumour metastasis, angiogenesis and inflammatory disease.
Professor Andrew Hill (2006 recipient), an expert in misfolded protein based neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and prion diseases. Understanding how misfolded proteins spread between cells has revealed new cellular pathways associated with these diseases.
Dr Marc Kvansakul (2010 recipient), who explores the constant struggle between hosts and microbial threats, to understand how viruses hijack cellular defence systems to ensure their own proliferation and survival.
Dr Erinna Lee (2010 recipient), who is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying cell fate decisions dictated by the processes of apoptosis and autophagy. Research into this crosstalk is important not just for our understanding of normal physiology but can significantly contribute to treatment outcomes for diseases such as cancer.
Dr Suresh Mathivanan (2015 recipient), an expert in exosomes with specific emphasis on their role in cancer progression. By understanding the role of exosomes in cancer, new targeted therapies can be developed to block the release of cancer promoting exosomes.
A prestigious award
The annual Young Tall Poppy Science Awards aim to recognise the achievements of Australia’s outstanding young scientific researchers and communicators.
The award winners participate in education and community outreach programs to inspire school students and the broader community about the possibilities of science.
This involves a range of other science promotion activities for school students, teachers and the broader community, including visits to schools, educational seminars, workshops, public talks and other activities.
“The Young Tall Poppy Award was critical for my career progression,” said Dr Suresh Mathivanan, who received the award in 2015. “The outreach activities were rewarding, allowing me to promote medical science to school students. As the Young Tall Poppy Awards are normally presented to high achievers, they can be perfect role models to students and inspire them in scientific research.”