Coral, Cancer Capsules & Conservation
Then on 24 August the three fellows visited the Australian Synchrotron and presented their research to 160 female students in year’s 9-11 for the L’Oréal Australia Girls in Science forum.
L’Oréal this year awards three remarkable young women scientists from Melbourne, Brisbane and Townsville who have been acknowledged for their outstanding research in maintaining biodiversity in the face of climate change, and developing more efficient and effective therapies for disease:
You can view photos from the award ceremony here: http://www.scienceinpublic.com/loreal/2011/2011-award-ceremony-photos
You can view photos from the Girls in Science forum here: http://www.scienceinpublic.com/loreal/2011/girlsinscience
A smarter way to deliver drugs: Georgina Such, University of Melbourne, is inventing a smarter way to deliver drugs—a miniscule capsule designed like a set of Russian babushka dolls that sneaks through the blood stream to target cancer cells and nothing else. Read full profile.
Can we save the tiger with mathematics: Eve McDonald-Madden, University of Queensland/CSIRO, is using mathematics and artificial intelligence to develop systems that allow us to make tough conservation decisions with limited information. Read full profile.
The complex life of coral: Tracy Ainsworth, James Cook University, Townsville is changing our understanding of the life of the tiny coral animals that built Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef—now threatened by a warming ocean and by bleaching. Read full profile.
The L’Oréal For Women In Science Fellowships are run globally by L’Oréal in partnership with UNESCO and celebrate their fifth anniversary in Australia this year.
The Fellowships are designed to support talented women, ensuring they maintain a career in science and continue to make a positive contribution to our society.
“Science transforms society, and women play a meaningful role,” says Johan Berg, Managing Director of L’Oréal Australia at a ceremony in the Clarendon Room at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre at 6pm on Tuesday 23 August. “L’Oréal employs over 3,300 scientists and has this year invested $882 million into R&D, so science without a doubt is at the heart of the L’Oréal business. It’s part of our DNA,” continues Berg.
The L’Oréal Fellowships highlight a worldwide challenge of maintaining women in science, and operate in parallel with the efforts of other influential bodies, such as UN Women Australia, the Australian Academy of Science and the CSIRO, who have all been working to promote highly skilled women within science and engineering, and increase incentives encouraging women to return to the workforce after maternity.
Furthermore, a summit organised by Science & Technology Australia in Canberra this year discussed the barriers for women to employment within science, technology and engineering-related occupations and illustrated the lack of women in these fields and the steep decline of their representation after the age of 30.
Johan Berg continues, “Australia is losing its top young scientists, and not to better salaries overseas. Instead, they are dropping out of science and engineering in their thirties as they try to balance building a competitive science career with building a family. Just like the past four years of Fellows, we hope that these Fellowships will support these three women during the most challenging part of their career.”
Full profiles, photos and video interviews are all available password protected at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/loreal
Call Niall Byrne on (03) 9398 1416/ 0417 131 977 for the password and for interviews with the L’Oréal Fellows
The Fellowships are designed to support talented women, ensuring they maintain a career in science and continue to make their positive contribution to our society.
About the 2011 Fellows:
A smarter way to deliver drugs
Georgina Such, The University of Melbourne
Georgina Such wants to change the way we deliver drugs. Today, when we’re treated for cancer, the drug spreads throughout the body indiscriminately. Along the way it causes side-effects such as nausea and hair loss.
To tackle this problem Georgina imagines a miniscule capsule designed like a set of Russian babushka dolls. The capsule sneaks through the blood stream untouched. When it finds its target—a cancer cell—it passes into the cell, sheds a layer, finds the part of the cellular machinery it needs to attack, sheds another layer and releases its cargo of drugs, destroying the cancer cell and only the cancer cell.
Creating such a capsule may take decades, but Georgina and her colleagues at The University of Melbourne have already developed several materials which offer potential to do the job. Now, with the help of a $20,000 L’Oréal Australia For Women in Science Fellowship she plans to go further.
Read more at http://www.scienceinpublic.com/loreal/fellows/georgina-such
Can we save the tiger with mathematics?
Eve McDonald-Madden, The University of Queensland
The diversity of life on Earth underpins the global economy. But we’re losing biodiversity at an unprecedented rate and human-induced climate change will threaten more species—up to 37 per cent of the plants and animals with which we share the world.
Eve McDonald-Madden is doing something about it. She’s recognised that, despite the urgency of the problem, the funds and resources to tackle the problem are limited. So she’s turned to mathematics to develop systems that allow us to make smarter conservation decisions.
Working at The University of Queensland and CSIRO, she has already helped to develop and implement a policy for monitoring the Sumatran tiger to prevent poaching. In addition, she has come up with a strategy for managing Tasmanian devils as they confront an infectious facial tumour disease.
In short, Eve McDonald-Madden has become a world expert on making effective conservation decisions when information is limited.
Her achievements have won her a $20,000 L’Oréal Australia For Women in Science Fellowship and, with its assistance, she will travel to France with her young son to learn about and incorporate the latest techniques of artificial intelligence (AI) into her decision-making frameworks.
Read more at http://www.scienceinpublic.com/loreal/fellows/eve-mcdonald-madden
The complex life of coral
Tracy Ainsworth, James Cook University
Tracy Ainsworth’s research is changing our understanding of the life of the tiny coral animals that built Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef. Her work comes at a critical time for the future of coral reefs—threatened by a warming ocean and by coral bleaching.
Just three years out from her PhD and now at James Cook University, Tracy has already demonstrated that the interactions between corals, their communities and their environment are far more intricate and subtle than we ever imagined.
She has shown, for instance, that bacteria as well as algae play a significant role in the life of the coral and in how it responds to changing temperatures. She has also found that coral bleaching is a far more complex process than previously thought.
And she’s done so by applying skills in modern cell biology which she picked up working in neuroscience laboratories.
Her achievements have won her a $20,000 L’Oréal Australia For Women in Science Fellowship which she will use to study the low light, deep water reefs that underlie tropical surface reefs at depths of 100 metres or more.
Read more at http://www.scienceinpublic.com/loreal/fellows/tracy-ainsworth