ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD JUNE 2019

ATA Scientific would like to thank all those that participated in our June 2019 Encouragement Award promotion.

The topic of our latest competition focused The Museum of Failure located in Sweden which home to a collection of failed products and services from around the world. The museum showcases these failures (e.g Google’s glasses, Sony’s Betamax, Apple’s Newton Messagepad, BIC for her pens and Trump’s monopoly game) to provide a learning experience and a unique insight into the risky business of innovation. We asked our audience to consider other examples of failures that could possibly be included in this Museum and some of the lessons that we could learn from such an apparent failure.

Once again, we were delighted to receive so many high quality responses, all of which were deserving winners. Each entry was scored based on originality, relevance and level of entertainment.

OUR WINNERS

Three entries were selected to receive our award– first prize at $1500 and 2 runners up at $600 each.

Congratulations to our first prize winner, Stefan Mueller, PhD student at the University of Wollongong, School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience, working under the supervision of Distinguished Professor Antoine Van Oijen.

After finishing his B.Sc. degree in Physics, with a research project on the production of ultra-cold neutrons at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, Stefan decided to shift his interests from pure physics to biology. Driven by his curiosity about how life is actually physically possible, he decided to travel to Australia and join Antoine Van Oijen’s lab, where the team applies physical methods to study biological systems. Stefan’s project focuses on DNA replication, the process of copying the genome prior to cell division. This process is vital for every living organism, defects in this process are associated to a number of diseases, including numerous genetic disorders and cancer. By applying single-molecule microscopy Stefan can visualise DNA replication in vitro, one molecule at a time. He is particularly interested in how UV-damage of the genomes can affect this process on the molecular scale.

“The strong urge to understand the fundamental mechanisms of life, but also the belief that such an understanding will eventually lead to new therapies for diseases is why I want to pursue an academic career. The ATA Scientific Encouragement Award provides me funding that I will use to take part in the Cold Spring Harbor Meeting on Eukaryotic DNA Replication & Genome Maintenance this September in New York, and present my work to renowned researchers of my field”.

Congratulations to our runner up, Nikolai Macnee, PhD candidate at University of Auckland & Plant and Food Research, working under the supervision of Dr Robert Schaffer and Dr Sean Bulley.

Nikolai is completing his PhD studies on the molecular mechanisms that govern fruit skin formation in kiwifruit.  Nikolai is currently approaching the end of his PhD and soon will start a new job which will enable him to continue his developmental plant biology research in the field of medicinal cannabis.  Nikolai uses command line programming to assist in data analysis relevant to plant development but would like to expand his abilities into horticultural biotechnology. Nikolai would like to use his award to assist with a personal project aimed at robotic plant growth systems.  Although his skills focus on molecular plant biology, he is keen to investigate future growing systems and the production of low-cost robots for growing plants, ideally with the implementation of AI for monitoring.

 “It would be a dream to have the funds to prototype my robots, and one day enable others to grow food for themselves even while living busy lives”.

 

Congratulations to our runner up, Lakshanie Wickramasinghe, PhD student at Monash University, Department of Immunology and Pathology, working under the supervision of Associate Professor Margaret Hibbs.

Her research is focused on understanding the immune mechanisms underlying the development of a severe, yet common lung disease that affects preterm babies known as Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD).  Of particular interest is understanding how it begins in the early neonatal period and how it can lead to long-term damage to vital organs such as the lungs. Lakshanie aspires to become more involved in exploring therapeutics that can reduce, or ultimately prevent premature infants from developing BPD. Lakshanie hopes to be able to use her immunological and scientific knowledge to better understand the mechanisms of action of these therapeutics in the body.  Along with this, Lakshanie also hopes to help improve maternal and neonatal healthcare in Asian and African countries where mortality rates for preterm infants are unacceptably high. Often this is due to limited access to resources and rapid management strategies that can improve preterm birth outcomes. This kind of care is essential to all mothers and babies, and Lakshanie hopes to be a part of the process of making essential pre- and postnatal care more accessible worldwide.

Lakshanie  will be using her award to contribute to the cost of registration and attendance for the Fetal and Neonatal Physiological Society conference, 16 – 19th October 2019 in Marysville, Victoria.

“By attending this conference it will give me to opportunity to hear about current research being undertaken by scientists in the field around the world. It will also give me the opportunity to share my own research with others which may lead to fantastic collaborations in the future”.

We would like to thank all those that participated. The next Encouragement Award will be posted on our website here.

For more information or to stay informed of other upcoming promotions please ‘Like us” on Facebook or contact us.

 

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ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD NOVEMBER 2018

ATA Scientific would like to thank all those that participated in our Oct-Nov 2018 Encouragement Award promotion.

The topic of our latest competition focused on the possible existence of a highly advanced extra-terrestrial civilisation observing us on earth and whether they should impose on us a fair and sustainable civilisation or keep well away. While Hollywood might have led us to think that an alien encounter would be greeted with guns and missiles, many of our applicants felt that in reality we humans would act in a far more positive manner. In fact a new study has supported this view and proposed “if we find out we’re not alone, we’ll take the news rather well”. Ultimately the mere fact that we’ve endeavoured to send a record of our presence into space (NASA’s Golden record launched in 1977) shows something about our humanity.

Once again, we were delighted to receive so many high quality responses, all of which were deserving winners. Each entry was scored based on originality, relevance and level of entertainment.

OUR WINNERS

Three entries were selected to receive our award– first prize at $1500 and 2 runners up at $600 each.

Congratulations to our first prize winner, Miss Caroline Holley, second year PhD student at the Institute of Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland working under the supervision of Associate Professor Kate Schroder. “Being curious about the natural sciences from an early age, it was inevitable that I would eventually end up in research. I became fascinated with how our bodies defend themselves against pathogenic infection and joined A/Prof. Kate Schroder’s lab to develop my knowledge in this area”.

Caroline’s project is focused on the inflammasome, which is the major driver of many neuro-inflammatory diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease). Research in this area is becoming increasingly important given our aging population and an increase in lifestyle-related disease across the world (such as neurodegeneration, diabetes and persistent pathogenic infections). Current therapeutics for these diseases focus on stabilising the cognitive symptoms, but do not prevent further neuronal damage. The aim of Caroline’s project is to elucidate the role of mitochondria in inflammasome signalling, and use this knowledge to control inflammation in mouse models of neuro-inflammation. Eventually Caroline hopes to apply her research to patients living with chronic inflammatory diseases.

In addition to her PhD lab work, Caroline is an active member of her student society’s executive, and has coordinated several career development and social events for her fellow PhD students this year.

Caroline plans to use her award to present her research at the Lorne Infection & Immunology Conference in Melbourne (http://www.lorneinfectionimmunity.org) and the ASI Annual Scientific Meeting in Adelaide (http://www.immunology.org.au) next year.

 “These conferences attract many domestic and international immunology heavyweights, and I’m so excited to broaden my network and collaborations. This will undoubtedly be invaluable for my post-PhD prospects, as I hope to secure a postdoctoral position in Germany after my thesis is accepted”.

Congratulations to our runner up, Ms Sabrina Schönborn, international Master student at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, working under the supervision of Dr Elena M. De-Juan-Pardo.

Sabrina is originally from RWTH Aachen, Germany and currently working at IHBI in the Regenerative Medicine Group as part of her Master Thesis. The team that Sabrina works with is attempting to develop a tissue engineered heart valve replacement using Melt Electrospinning Writing (MEW). In the photo attached Sabrina is standing next to one of the MEW machines in her lab being used to develop the new heart valve. Sabrina’s project is mainly focused on creating a scaffold for a replacement of the aortic root which encloses the aortic valve. Following her graduation, Sabrina would like to continue her career in research and development working with medical products, preferably implants.

Sabrina plans to use the prize money to attend the Australia-China Conference of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (ACCTERM), November 22-24, 2018 being held in Cairns this year.

Congratulations to our runner up, Mr Terence Tieu. Terence is a joint PhD candidate between Monash University and CSIRO, working under the supervision of Dr Anna Cifuentes-Rius, Dr Helmut Thissen and Prof. Nico Voelcker.

His research is focused on the development of Nano carriers, namely, porous silicon nanoparticles for efficient delivery of oligonucleotides.

The award will be used to contribute towards the costs of attending the Controlled Release Society conference in Valencia, Spain next year where he aims to share his research with an international audience.”

We would like to thank all those that participated. The next Encouragement Award will be posted on our website early 2019.

For more information or to stay informed of other upcoming promotions please Follow us on Facebook or contact us.

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ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD AUGUST 2018

ATA Scientific would like to thank all those that participated in our recent Encouragement Award promotion.

The topic of our latest competition focused on the strong link between cognitive behaviour and foods. While studies continue to show evidence that supports the idea that food can influence our thought processes, we asked our readers to consider their own experiences and whether particular foods had any influence on their ability to think and concentrate. Judging by the number of entries received this is certainly a hot topic, particularly for those addicted to coffee and chocolate – yes, you know who you are. Many chose to focus on the science of consuming certain foods and described the chemical pathways leading to changes in brain function. Others noted the social impact and the role food plays in the expression of cultural identity. We were delighted to receive so many high quality responses, all of which were deserving winners. Each entry was scored based on originality, relevance and level of entertainment.

OUR WINNERS

After much deliberation, three entries were selected to receive our award– first prize at $1500 and 2 runners up at $600 each.

Congratulations to our first prize winner Samantha Wade, PhD candidate at the Targeted Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory, Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University Of Wollongong, working under the supervision of Dr Kara L. Vine-Perrow.

Samantha is a third year PhD student working on implantable drug delivery for pancreatic cancer. Her work involves re-purposing FDA approved materials and clinically used drugs to make dual drug eluting structures for implantation and local release in pancreatic tumours. Samantha works with a team of clinicians, material engineers and biologists to cover all aspects of the project, to fabricate implants that are targeted toward clinical use.

For Pancreatic cancer, systemic chemotherapy has been found to be largely ineffective and surgery is not an option for many people because most cases are diagnosed after the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Samantha’s work on drug-loaded implants may offer patients a better chance of survival as they can be placed directly into the tumour to shrink it down to a size that can be surgically removed.

Samantha plans to use the award money to help cover the costs of attending the controlled release society annual meeting in Spain next year.

Congratulations to our runner up, Cameron McKnight.

Cameron McKnight is a PhD student based at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in the lab of Prof. David Thorburn. His degree is through paediatrics at the University of Melbourne and he is supported by a Melbourne Research Scholarship. Cameron is also President of the Melbourne Children’s Campus Research Student Association and works with a group of volunteer students to organise networking and educational opportunities for all students studying on the children’s campus.

Working with his supervisor Ann Frazier, Cameron’s research focuses on childhood forms of mitochondrial disease, a group of complex inherited genetic disorders that primarily affect cellular energy production. He is developing pluripotent stem cell models to facilitate preclinical treatment studies and investigation of the underlying cellular mechanisms of disease. Although mitochondrial disease affects approximately 1 in 5000 live births, there is currently no known cures or treatments, a result of the clinical and genetic heterogeneity of the disorders. Still, a number of agents show therapeutic promise. The ultimate goal of Cameron’s project is to identify a potential treatment option using the clinically affected cell types by generating them in culture from his pluripotent stem cell models.

“This award will allow me to present my research at two discipline specific conferences this year, Australian Functional Genomics Conference in September and AussieMit in November, providing me the opportunity to get some valuable input from experts in fields. These conferences are also a great chance to network and potentially foster collaborations that could take my project to the next level! Post PhD, I hope to find a postdoctoral fellowship in stem cell or mitochondrial research. Having already moved from Canada I hope to be able to remain in Melbourne, but I am open to moving across the globe again short-term in order to develop some important long-term connections”.

Congratulations to our runner up, Dr Michal Bartnikowski, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow from the School of Dentistry, at The University of Queensland.  Michal is currently working with supervisor Professor Sašo Ivanovski on the development of 3D printed scaffolds for bone and periodontal regeneration. 

Michal’s work focuses on the development and clinical translation of custom biodegradable tissue engineered scaffold implants for bone regeneration of orofacial defects. These implants are made to fit individual patient’s geometries, and form a supportive structure to help the growth and development of bony tissue. Over the next few years, Michal aims to take a suite of tissue engineering products to the market, delivering affordable custom tissue regeneration solutions to patients in Australia.

Michal will use this award to help fund his trip to Kyoto, Japan this year, where he will present some of his work at the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) World Congress 2018 conference.

 We would like to thank all those that participated. The final Encouragement Award for 2018 will be posted on our website soon.

For more information or to stay informed of other upcoming promotions please ‘Like us” on Facebook or contact us.

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ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD APRIL 2018

ATA Scientific would like to thank all those that participated in our April 2018 Encouragement Award promotion.

The topic of our latest competition focused on the future of scientific conferences and secondments and whether they are still needed with access to publications and information now fast and cheap over the internet. While presenting at scientific conferences can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, the question invited readers to consider whether the money spent on these events could be better used on underfunded projects. The dilemma of attending scientific conferences or not can be intensified with the prospect of travelling to exotic locations or meeting famous Nobel Laureates. Overall, it came to no surprise that the social aspect and collaborative, scientific interaction that results from attending these events resonated with many for their support.

We were pleased to receive such a diverse range of high quality responses, all of which were deserving winners. Each entry was scored based on originality, relevance and level of entertainment.

OUR WINNERS

After much deliberation, three entries were selected to receive our award– first prize at $1500 and 2 runners up at $600 each.

Congratulations to our first prize winner Gabrielle McClymont, Masters student at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney and works under the supervision of Professor Jacqui Matthews.

Gabrielle McClymont University of SydneyGabrielle is researching novel α-helical peptide inhibitors of breast cancer oncogene LMO4. She has been working to redesign the peptide protein interface of LMO4 by replacing the traditional β-strand binding partners with novel inhibitory α-helical ones and designing a high throughput screening mechanism to identify these peptides.  Inhibitors of LMO4 are a method to understand LMO4 mediated tumour progression and possible therapeutic precursors.

Gabrielle has recently won the Gates Cambridge Scholarship to undertake her PhD in Biochemistry at Cambridge University. Her PhD with Professor Nick Gay will elucidate the molecular mechanisms of inflammatory signal transduction in the innate immune system.  Focusing on understanding the structure, function, kinetics and stoichiometry of TLR4 mediated inflammation with has been implicated in viral haemorrhagic fevers (end stage of disease such as Ebola and Dengue) and Sepsis. This research will provide the crucial molecular structure from which new therapeutics targeting severe inflammation can be developed.

 

“My life aim is to improve humanity through scientific endeavour. At the age of 11,  I met Dr Takyama an eminent HIV researcher who inspired me to develop my scientific curiosity; years later volunteering at St Vincent de Paul, I observed my small services improve lives. This motivated my desire to use scientific research to magnify my contribution and advance the welfare of humanity. I will achieve this through my two interests, science and policy; utilising medical research and implementation in public policy with industrial collaboration to maximise the benefits globally”.

Gabrielle graduated from the University of Sydney Bachelor Advanced Science Arts, 1st class honours, Biochemistry, Government & International Relations. She is a finalist at the World, Asia-Pacific, Australasian Women’s and Australian University Debating Championships and Vice-President of the Politics Society and Society for Molecular Biologists.

Gabrielle plans to use the award money to help cover the costs of undertaking her PhD at Cambridge and in particular to attend conferences in Europe.

Congratulations to our runner up, Kristel Cahyadi Tjandra, third year PhD Candidate at CBNS: ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology, University of New South Wales under the supervision of A/Prof. Pall Thordarson. Given the interdisciplinary nature of her project, Kristel works with two diverse teams from the School of Chemistry (Thordarson Group) and Children’s Cancer Institute.

Kristel Tjandra UNSWKristel’s research is focused on the study of peptide-based drug delivery systems for targeted cancer treatment. Peptides are short chains of amino acids, often a part of a protein unit that has particular function inside the body. Her research objective is to design, synthesise and investigate the pharmacokinetics of peptide-based drug delivery systems, including the way they are taken up and react in the body, in order to develop drug-delivery systems that could target cancer cells in a specific manner.

Kristel plans to use her prize money to travel and attend the European Molecular Biology Lab (EMBL) Chemical Biology Workshop 2018 in Heidelberg, Germany, 29 Aug – 1 Sep 2018.

 “The award, which will contribute towards my attendance at EMBL Chemical Biology Workshop 2018, will give me the opportunity to engage with researchers working in the interface between Chemistry and Biology with a wide range of expertise. The opportunity to learn from other experts will hopefully spur new ideas and facilitate future collaborations”.

Kristel’s career goal is to work in the pharmaceutical industry and to keep pursuing her passion in the area of drug discovery and development. “I think that this area of pharmaceutical science will continue to have a huge impact in the society and that the technology we now have could help advance the field immensely”. 

Congratulations to our runner up, Amy Wilson, from the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Centre for Cancer Research, in Clayton, Victoria.

Amy Wilson Hudson InstituteAmy is a third year PhD Student in the Ovarian Cancer Biomarkers laboratory at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, under joint supervision of Dr. Andrew Stephens and Prof. Magdalena Plebanksi.

Amy’s PhD research is focused on re-activating the immune system to more effectively treat ovarian cancers. Often, ovarian tumours are hidden from the immune system via secretion of certain proteins, and this can lead to chemo-resistance. Amy’s research involves the re-purposing of an already clinically approved drug in combination with current therapies in order to reinvigorate the anti-tumour immune response.

Amy plans to use the award to attend the Australasian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ComBio 2018 conference being held in Sydney from 23-26 September 2018.

 “This award will allow me to present my research to leading scientists to gain valuable feedback, and to establish a strong scientific network with esteemed researchers from various fields. After my PhD, my goal is work somewhere internationally; where I can learn, share my knowledge and skills, and form collaborations”.

We would like to thank all those that participated. The next Encouragement Award will be posted on our website in May 2018.

For more information or to stay informed of other upcoming promotions please ‘Like us” on Facebook or contact us.

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SPIN to WIN at LORNE PROTEINS 2018

Our annual ‘SPIN TO WIN” Young Scientist award was once again a very exciting event during the 43rd Lorne Protein Structure and Function conference (4-8 Feb 2018). Students and academic staff were invited to spin the ATA wheel to win a number of different prizes which included the main prize on the board – our $2000 Young Scientist Award. A number of participants progressed through to the final round which saw the exhibition hall light up with great energy and excitement. The audience followed in anticipation until finally the winner was announced!

Congratulations to Dr Naomi Ling, Senior Researcher at St Vincent’s Institute Medical Research – winner of the $2000 Travel Award ‘Spin to Win’ Prize!

Naomi kindly nominated Toby Dite as the recipient of the award as per the conditions. The ATA Scientific young scientist award is open to PhD candidates and scientists aged 30 years or younger. By setting an age limit we give early career scientists access to financial assistance to enable them to collaborate with peers at scientific meetings such as the Lorne Proteins conference, and to launch their careers within their field of study.

Toby is in the final stages of his PhD project, with supervisors Dr. Jon Oakhill and Prof. Bruce Kemp at St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, through the University of Melbourne. Toby is investigating post-translational modifications of the energy sensing kinase AMP-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK), and how this relates to drug activation/inhibition of AMPK pathways. This involves the feedback of several pathways on AMPK, leading to phosphorylation of critical residues involved in drug sensitivity. To delineate direct and indirect drug activation of AMPK, Toby’s research utilises mass spectrometric analysis of metabolites alongside other methods such as western blotting. Toby’s thesis involves the identification of new pathways involved in AMPK regulation, and the development of new methods of measuring AMPK activation/inhibition. Toby hopes to stay in the field of biochemistry, specifically investigating kinase signalling pathways into the future.

 

“A highlight of my PhD so far has been my first author publication “The Autophagy Initiator ULK1 sensitizes AMPK to Allosteric Drugs” in Nature Communications last year. “

Toby would like to use his award to attend the AMPK conference, from mechanisms to new therapies, 30 September to 4 October this year, in Canada.

The SPIN to WIN award is part of the ATA Scientific Encouragement award program that started in 2011. The intent is to provide scientists access to financial assistance to enable them to collaborate with peers at scientific meetings and to launch their careers within their field of study. The awards are run at least four times a year which has so far awarded 53 winners from multiple Universities and research organisations around Australia and New Zealand. We plan to continue posting these awards into the future and encourage all students to enter. For all previous winners please visit our website here.

For more information regarding our award or to enter the next promotion contact us or visit our webpage at www.atascientific.com.au/awards-events-training/

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ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD, NOVEMBER 2017

ATA Scientific would like to thank all those that participated in our November 2017 Encouragement Award promotion.

The topic of our latest competition was focused the science of de-extinction, the concept that we can bring back to life species that have gone extinct through cloning and genetic manipulation. The question examined the potential benefits and dangers raised by the reintroduction of extinct species. Those who favoured de-extinction chose to focus their entry on the effects of recent human activity and climate change as a moral reason to support the process. Several discussed the possibility of reconstructing and testing extinct genes for novel properties in the pursuit of developing new drugs for presently incurable diseases. Reanimation was also suggested as a way of helping currently endangered species by restoring lost genetic diversity. Aside from these and other obvious benefits, the potential dangers seemed to overwhelm many particularly those familiar with the vivid dinosaur scenes showcased in the movie “Jurassic Park”.

We were pleased to receive such a diverse range of high quality responses, all of which were deserving winners. Each entry was scored based on originality, relevance and level of entertainment.

OUR WINNERS

After much deliberation, three entries were selected to receive our award– first prize at $1500 and 2 runners up at $600 each.

Congratulations to our first prize winner, Shravanti Joshi, a final year PhD student at the Centre for Advanced Materials and Industrial Chemistry (CAMIC), RMIT University. Shravanti works under the supervision of Dr Samuel J Ippolito, and Dr Ylias Sabri, School of Science at RMIT University.

Back Left: Dr Ylias Sabri, Back right: Dr Samuel Ippolito, Front: Dr Shravanti Joshi, CAMIC, School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

Shravanti has recently completed her doctoral work at the Mercury Laboratory, CAMIC. Her research primarily dealt with synthesis of defect engineered hierarchical nanomaterials for ultra-sensitive and selective CO2 detection. From the environmental monitoring perspective, selective CO2 detection is imperative as it is widely recognised as an occupational hazard, toxic contaminant and strong asphyxiant. However, its accurate monitoring still remains a formidable task owing to its chemically inert nature. During her PhD candidature, Shravanti demonstrated a high level of achievement with 6 peer-reviewed first author articles in respected journals such as Journal of Materials Chemistry A, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces etc.

“It’s definitely motivating to receive such encouragement award for which I’m grateful to ATA Scientific Instruments for extending strong support”.

Shravanti plans to use the award money to attend the International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICONN 2018), being held from 29 Jan-2 Feb at the University of Wollongong. Shravanti plans to present an invited lecture entitled “Prolated BaTiO3 spheroids decorated with Ag@CaO as Reliable CO2 Gas Sensitive Layer”.

“ICONN 2018 will be a perfect international platform for an early career researcher like me to showcase achievements in the field of chemical sensing to my peers and collaborators around the world. This journey from a novice mechanical engineer to a confident material scientist further motivates me to continue with germane work that will produce invaluable insights on how to use smart nanomaterials innovatively for competitive lab-on chip technologies in the field of environmental remediation and subsequent challenges for practical applications”.

Congratulations to our runner up, Larissa Fedunik, second year Chemistry PhD student at the University of Newcastle under the supervision of Professor Scott Donne and Dr Alicia Bayon at CSIRO Energy.

Larissa’s PhD research is focused on thermochemical energy storage (TCES) for solar thermal applications. TCES has excellent potential because of its high energy storage density and the fact that it uses inexpensive materials such as calcium carbonate (limestone). Larissa is working on the synthesis and laboratory-scale demonstration of enhanced materials to increase efficiency and cyclability.

“Solar thermal energy generation and storage can provide Australia with clean, inexpensive energy and I hope to raise public awareness about it – everybody has heard of PV but solar thermal doesn’t get nearly enough attention!”

“I plan to use the award to attend a chemistry conference with a strong focus on renewable energy technologies or even the Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference. I think communication between scientists, government and industry is essential”.

Congratulations to our runner up, Stephen Bernard Drane, from Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences studying under the supervision of Professor Raymond Norton.

Stephen is currently in the final throes of completing his Masters thesis, detailing work undertaken to evaluate peptide toxins from animal venom for possible therapeutic applications.

“My true goal is to combine my love for science with my equally ardent love for performance, and forge a career making science interesting and accessible for society at large”.

Stephen plans to use the award to attend the Public Communication of Science and Technology 2018 conference, to be held in Dunedin NZ in April. This is an international science communication conference, where Stephen plans to network with people in the industry and learn the most effective strategies for getting the wider public engaged with the ongoing endeavour of scientific discovery.

We would like to thank all those that participated. The next Encouragement Award will be posted on our website in 2018.

For more information or to stay informed of other upcoming promotions please ‘Like us” on Facebook or contact us.

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