Keeping our best young bioscience brains in Australia

Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize to be announced today

The winner of the Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize will be announced at 1.45 pm today, Wednesday 19 October 2011, at a lunch at UBS in Sydney.
The winner will receive $25,000.

The finalists are:

  • Greg Neely, from the Garvan Institute in Sydney, hunts for two different sorts of genes—those that cause pain and those that make us more susceptible to heart attacks.
  • Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat, from Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) is unravelling how and why breast stem cells contribute to the progression of breast cancer.
  • Marc Pellegrini’s discoveries about the immune system are being applied to clinical trials of cancer vaccines and treatments for HIV and hepatitis. He is also from WEHI.

The purpose of the Prize is to encourage Australia’s best young biomedical researcher to stay in Australia and build their career here.

“The scientific judging panel has been astounded at the quality of the applications and we are looking forward to announcing the winner on Wednesday,” said Centenary Institute Executive Director, Professor Mathew Vadas.

There were 33 applications received from early-career scientists from universities and medical research institutes around Australia.

The Prize honours Neil Lawrence, the Inaugural Chairman of The Centenary Institute Foundation. Neil and his wife Caroline hold Centenary Institute very near to their hearts, as they are both passionate about advancing the field of medical research so that all Australians can live longer, healthier lives.

“Exceptional young scientists can be hard to keep in Australia and we hope this award will not only celebrate their achievements but also encourage a domestic culture of brilliance in this truly important field”, said Professor Vadas.

“We acknowledge the generosity of our sponsors and thank them for making this prize possible.”

Major sponsors: FOXTEL, Mindshare, stw group.
Supporting sponsors: Crosby | Textor and Deloitte
Event sponsor: UBS
Media sponsor: The Australian

  • Mathew Vadas is available to speak about the finalists this morning and about the winner after 2 pm.
  • For images, backgrounder, and full release go to: or call Andrew Wight on (03) 9398 1416, +61 422 982 829.