Prestigious awards drive scientific innovation

Published: 24 October 2018

The prestigious Victoria Prizes for Science and Innovation, Victoria Fellowships, and veski Innovation Fellowship were announced last night at a ceremony hosted by veski.

The $50,000 Victoria Prize for Life Sciences was jointly awarded to Professor Andrew Roberts from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, and Professor John Seymour from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Professors Roberts and Seymour worked collaboratively to deliver a new anti-cancer drug for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

The $50,000 Victoria Prize for Physical Sciences was awarded to Professor Doug MacFarlane from Monash University for his recent discoveries in renewable energy conversion using a new class of materials known as ionic fluids. His discoveries are poised to have a big impact on renewable energy opportunities for Australia, in both local and export markets.

Professor Ben Marsland was announced as the recipient of the prestigious three-year veski Innovation Fellowship. The New Zealand-born immunologist has come to Melbourne from Switzerland because of the Fellowship.

Professor Marsland's research is focused on trying to understand how to combat or prevent the development of allergies in infants which can progress into life threatening asthma. Australia has one of the highest rates of allergy in the world.

Victoria Fellowships were awarded to twelve early career researchers valued at up to $18,000 each to assist them with an international study mission – six in life sciences and six in physical sciences – that help recipients take the next steps in their science and research discovery journeys.

Victoria's world-class capabilities in scientific research, engineering and design, cyber security, life sciences and medical technologies industries are testament to the state's high-quality universities, research institutions, and the students they produce.

2018 Victoria Fellowships for life sciences

  • Dr Cristina Giogha: Hudson Institute of Medical Research
  • Ms Claire Gorrie: Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
  • Mr Aidan Kashyap: Hudson Institute of Medical Research
  • Dr Alistair Legione: The University of Melbourne
  • Dr Benjamin Mentiplay: La Trobe University
  • Dr Nicholas Welch: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

2018 Victoria Fellowships for physical sciences

  • Dr Sepideh Afshar: Monash University
  • Dr Nima Haghdadi: Deakin University, Institute for Frontier Materials
  • Dr Liam Hall: The University of Melbourne
  • Dr Bartlomiej Kolodziejczyk: H2SG Energy (Aus) Pty. Ltd.
  • Dr Flora Salim: RMIT University
  • Dr Sumeet Walia: RMIT University

veski receives funding from the Victorian Government and builds strategic partnerships and collaborations with business, academic and philanthropic organisations. The organisation's mission is to identify globally competitive individuals and leading researchers and bring them to Victoria for the benefit of the Australian economy.

Each year, veski delivers a program of fellowships, awards and international networks including the veski innovation fellowships.

Find out more via the veski website.