Recognising women in Quantitative Biomedical Science

Six awardees honoured in the 2020 Georgina Sweet Awards this week.

Outstanding achievements, a compelling research vision and an excellent record in promoting inclusivity and diversity. These are characteristics of the awardees of the Georgina Sweet Awards for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science, honoured on 12 October 2020.

At the  virtual event, attended by over 130 people, the award recipients presented their research programs, from fighting antimicrobial resistance, tackling neurodegenerative diseases, designing and implementing implantable diagnostic devices and developing cancer diagnostics to understanding the mechanics of hole punching proteins.

In a panel discussion lead by award winning science communicator, Dr Jen Martin, the group discussed the challenges of building a research program, while also juggling caring commitments outside the lab.

"The group were passionate about explaining the joys of mathematics to the next generation of young scientists but also spoke about how to overcome “imposter syndrome” and have the confidence to push their vision," says Professor Leann Tilley from the School of Biomedical Sciences who hosted the event.

Like the recent Nobel prize winners, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, these women are women who like to “lift the bonnet” on biological problems. They are not afraid to tackle difficult problems, to learn new techniques, and to bring in mathematical and physical sciences to find a solution to the research questions that intrigue them. And they are working to translate their research finding into real world outcomes, working with industry partners or setting up their own companies.

About Professor Leann Tilley

The Georgina Sweet Awards for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science were created by Professor Tilley as part of her Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship program to promote and support female scientists who demonstrate excellence in the area of Quantitative Biomedical Science.

Professor Tilley is Head of the Leann Tilley Research Laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

About Georgina Sweet

The award is named after Georgina Sweet, a pioneering research scientist, who broke through barriers at the University of Melbourne 120 years ago. She was a highly respected parasitologist and a vigorous advocate for women’s rights.

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