Medical researcher, and CRF Board Member, Professor Helen Marshall named SA’s 2023 Scientist of the Year.

Medical researcher, and CRF Board Member, Professor Helen Marshall named SA’s 2023 Scientist of the Year.

Medical researcher, Professor Helen Marshall AM has been named the 2023 Scientist of the Year for her work in vaccination research and reducing the devastating impacts of meningococcal B.

Prof Marshall was among the state’s leading scientists, educators and innovators acknowledged at the annual SA Science Excellence and Innovation Awards celebration dinner, held in late November 2023.

She said it was “a great honour” to receive the prestigious award.

“I love my job, and I feel so privileged to work in such an exciting and important area, (but)I think there is a responsibility that comes with winning awards,” Prof Marshall said.

“It’s about being a role model for the next generation especially for women.

“It’s important that there are more women achieving and being recognised for their research leadership to inspire the next generation of leaders.”

The University of Adelaide researcher’s work is centred on providing protection for children from life-threatening diseases through immunisation.

“I led the first clinical trials of a meningococcal B vaccine globally and then advocated for the meningococcal B vaccine herd immunity study to be undertaken in South Australia,” Prof Marshall said.

“This meant South Australian young people had early and free access to a licensed meningococcal B vaccine.”

Prof Marshall also holds various roles, including Clinical Research Director with the Women’s and Children’s Health Network; whom she represents on the Honorary Board of the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation.

Joining Prof Marshall were five more category winners, including three women and two research groups, showcasing a strong female talent pool for the 19th year of the state’s premier science event.

The awards recognise the outstanding work of our state’s science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) leaders including educators, scientists, researchers and industry professionals.

As well as displaying excellence in STEMM, this year’s winners all boast significant recent achievements, and are acknowledged for their role in advancing sectors like education, health, mining, wine production and the protection of our environment.

2023 SA Science Excellence and Innovation Award winners:

  • Scientist of the Year: Professor Helen Marshall, The University of Adelaide. Awarded for her vaccination research which has had significant local and global impacts on the incidence and treatment of meningococcal B.
  • Innovator of the Year: The Chrysos PhotonAssay Team- Dr James Tickner, Mr Dirk Treasure, Dr Alvin Chowles and Dr Rhys Preston. Awarded for development and commercialisation of game-changing technology for the mining industry.
  • PhD Research Excellence Award: Dr Hayley Leake, University of South Australia. Awarded for her research into the improvement of chronic pain management for adolescence.
  • STEMM Educator of the Year – Primary/Secondary: Mrs Christie Evans, Heathfield Primary School. Awarded for her contribution to STEMM education and problem-based learning approaches.
  • STEMM Educator of the Year – University/RTO: Ms Jill Bauer, The University of Adelaide. Awarded for her contemporary approaches to wine education.
  • Excellence in Science and Industry Collaboration: Science to revive lost oyster reefs – Professor Sean Connell, Ms Sandy Carruthers, Dr Domenic McAfee, Ms Anita Nedosyko and Mr Alan Noble, The University of Adelaide. Awarded for the revival of an extinct ecosystem to restore fish production and water quality

News Source: We Are.SA
Published 23 November 2023