Victoria’s Top Scientists Honoured

29 November 2016

Recipients of Victoria’s most prestigious science and innovation programs have been honoured tonight at a ceremony celebrating the contributions they have made to their field of research and the Victorian community.

The Andrews Labor Government is proud to partner with veski to award the 2016 Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation and the 2016 Victoria Fellowships that acknowledge our top scientists, innovators and early-career researchers.

This year, Professor James McCluskey from the University of Melbourne and Professor Jamie Rossjohn from Monash University were jointly awarded the $50,000 Victoria Prize for Life Sciences.

The professors have worked collaboratively for 15 years, making substantial contributions to the understanding of the human immune system – in particular for coeliac disease, organ transplantation and infectious disease – improving health outcomes for Victorians and people the world over.

Professor Min Gu from RMIT University was awarded the $50,000 Victoria Prize for Physical Sciences, recognising his ground-breaking research in optical data storage.

This research has made significant improvements to data storage systems, allowing data that would ordinarily fill a football field to now be stored on a single DVD.

Professor Gu’s additional work in solar cell technology could reduce energy consumption by 1000 times, as well as the cost of solar cells themselves, making them more accessible for the building sector.

Twelve early career researchers were also awarded Victoria Fellowships valued at $18,000 each to assist them with an international study mission, six in life sciences and six in physical sciences.

The awards and fellowships help Victoria’s most promising scientists and create international networks and take the state’s world-leading research and development capabilities across the globe.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis

“Congratulations to the 2016 Victoria Prize winners and Fellows for their unwavering dedication to their work and the contribution they make to our community.”

“We’re supporting our most promising researchers in science and technology to drive new ideas and create products that will make a difference to the lives of Victorians for years to come.”

Full list of recipients:

2016 Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation

Life Sciences:

Professor James McCluskey, The University of Melbourne

Professor Jamie Rossjohn, Monash University

Physical Sciences:

Professor Min Gu, RMIT University

2016 Victoria Fellowship

Life Sciences:

Ms Sarah Baines, The University of Melbourne

Dr Ryan De Cruz, The Royal Melbourne Hospital

Dr Hamish McWilliam, The Peter Doherty Institute

Dr Thushara Perera, Bionics Institute

Ms Paola Vaz, The University of Melbourne

Dr Peng-Yuan Wang, Swinburne University of Technology

Physical Sciences:

Dr Ravichandar Babarao, CSIRO

Dr George Chen, The University of Melbourne

Dr Tamar Greaves, RMIT University

Dr Christian Gunawan, Circa Group Pty Ltd

Dr Kang Liang, CSIRO

Dr Subashani Maniam, Monash University

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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