Media Kit – 2016 CSL Young Florey Medal

CSL Florey Medal, Media releases

After 160 years, it’s time to throw away the needle and syringe
Nanopatch starts clinical trials in Brisbane, with Cuba next

Rocket scientist Mark Kendall (UQ) reinvents vaccination and wins $25,000 CSL Young Florey Medal

Press materials available:

The 2016 CSL Young Florey Medal was presented at the Association of Australian medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) dinner at on Wednesday 9 November in the Great Hall, Parliament House, Canberra

  • Professor Mark Kendall helped create a small rocket for vaccine delivery.
  • Then he invented a radically simpler concept that could replace the needle and syringe we’ve been using for 160 years.
  • A small square of silicon with 20,000 microscopic spikes delivers vaccines directly to the skin’s immune cells.
  • It’s painless, requires a fraction of the dose, doesn’t need refrigeration, and eliminates needle phobia.
  • Now human clinical trials are underway in Brisbane, and the WHO is planning a polio vaccine trial in Cuba in 2017.

Silicon wafer of Nanopatches

Silicon wafer of Nanopatches

Mark Kendall is planning to dispatch the 160-year-old needle and syringe to history. This Queensland rocket scientist has invented a new vaccine technology that’s painless, uses a fraction of the dose, puts the vaccine just under the skin, and doesn’t require a fridge.

Human trials of Mark’s Nanopatch are underway in Australia, and the concept has broad patent coverage. It’s being supported by the World Health Organisation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Merck.

But it’s not been an easy path. Mark has had to push the science and business worlds to see the value of a new approach to vaccine delivery. It took 70 presentations before he secured funding for The University of Queensland spin-out company Vaxxas.

The CSL Young Florey Medal is presented every two years by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS). The award recognises mid-career achievements in biomedical science and human health advancement. Supported by CSL, it carries a cash prize of $25,000.

“Innovation in medical research is not always about new medicines, in this case it is medical-technology which may revolutionise the way we administer vaccines and make them accessible to many more people,” says CSL’s Chief Scientist, Dr Andrew Cuthbertson.

“In our centenary year, CSL is proud to support this award, which both recognises excellence in research, and creates role models for the next generation of medical researchers,” says Andrew.

“Mark Kendall is a lateral thinker and a great example of a multidisciplinary approach to solving unmet medical needs.  His work to develop the Nanopatch has bridged engineering, biology, and commercialisation.”

“Mark Kendall could transform vaccination, as Florey transformed the treatment of bacterial diseases,” says AIPS director Camille Thomson. “Howard Florey was 43 when he carried out the first clinical trial of penicillin. He was 47 when he won the Nobel Prize and was acknowledged by Sir Robert Menzies who said, ‘In terms of world well-being, Florey was the most important man ever born in Australia’”.

Mark Kendall is Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at The University of Queensland. He is the founder of Vaxxas and has served as Chief Technology Officer and a director of the company. He also leads the Queensland Node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology.



The CSL Young Florey Medal

The 2016 CSL Young Florey Medal will be awarded to an Australian biomedical researcher for significant early career achievements in biomedical science and/or human health advancement for research conducted primarily in Australia. In addition to the medal, the award currently carries a prize of $25,000 due to the generous support of CSL Limited.

The Young Florey Medal was first awarded in 2014 by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, and is designed to complement the biennial CSL Florey Medal which recognises career achievement.

The medals were named in honour of the Australian Nobel Prize-winning scientist, Sir Howard Florey, who developed penicillin.

The Florey Medal is part of the Tall Poppy Campaign which aims to recognise and promote scientific and intellectual excellence in Australia.

The previous winner is:

2014 – Professor Carola Vinuesa

For her research into how the immune system produces antibodies to fight disease. Her work has led to the discovery of genes important for immune regulation and is paving the way for the development of new drugs to fight autoimmune diseases such as lupus, juvenile diabetes and certain cancers.


The Medal

The Florey Medal, and Young Florey Medal are hand sculpted by Michael Meszaros. Michael has lived as a sculptor in Melbourne for nearly four decades, producing a wide range of work ranging from major public pieces to his speciality of medals. He learned this from his father Andor, also a sculptor and medallist of international reputation.

This work is closely based on a portrait medal Andor made when Sir Howard Florey sat for him in 1963, commissioned by the Florey Institute at Melbourne University. Michael met Sir Howard at the time. Using Andor’s original as a guide, Michael has remodelled it in this size, adding a different inscription, designing a reverse and casting it in bright sterling silver (Florey Medal) and bronze (Young Florey Medal).

The Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS)

The Australian Institute of Policy and Science is an independent and non-partisan not-for-profit organisation first founded in 1932. They have grown with Australia’s public policy history and work to:

  • Increase public engagement in science.
  • Promote excellence in research, innovation and the promotion and communication of science.
  • Inform and influence policy and policy-making.
  • Invest in a scientifically inspired, literate and skilled Australia that contributes to local and global social challenges.

AIPS achieves its objectives through an extensive network of partners spanning university, government, industry and community actors.