10 September 2009

UQ research aimed at better diagnosing breast cancer is just one of 16 projects to be awarded prestigious fellowships by the Australian Government this week.

Dr Amin Abbosh, from UQ’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, has been awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to develop an imaging system that is accurate and reliable in the early detection of tumours.

The new ARC scheme offers a four-year fellowship worth up to $740,000 and is aimed at addressing the gap in opportunities for mid-career researchers in Australia, which forced many to search for work overseas. It will also attract leading international researchers to work here.

UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology was particularly successful with a quarter of UQ’s fellowships coming from the Institute.

The AIBN’s Professor Mark Kendall will continue his work on needle-free vaccines using nano-patches and Associate Professor Michael Monteiro who has developed a frontier technology, which enables the production of new efficient and highly responsive drug and vaccine delivery devices, as well as novel scaffold to encourage cell growth for regenerative medicine.

Other UQ awardees included Professor Kirill Alexandrov, from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, who will create fluorescent versions of protein molecules that will allow researchers to observe complex biochemical processes in living organisms and lead to new technologies for use in diagnostics and drug development.

Professor Max Lu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), said UQ received more than half of all the fellowships awarded in Queensland, and achieved a success rate of 31 percent compared to the national average of 21 percent, a reflection of the University’s research strength.

“Attracting so many of these prestigious fellowships is testimonial to UQ’s commitment to research excellence and quality of researchers.” Professor Lu said.

“I congratulate all of our awardees and look forward to seeing the results of their research benefiting the wider community in the years ahead.”

The full list of successful UQ fellows and their projects are:

Dr Amin Abbosh, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering: Hybrid Imaging System for Breast Cancer Detection.

Professor Kirill Alexandrov, Institute for Molecular Bioscience: High throughput engineering of genetically encodable fluorescent sensors of intracellular signalling networks

Dr Holger Baumgardt, currently at the University of Bonn: Advanced computer simulations of star cluster evolution

Professor Mark Blows, School of Biological Sciences: Genetical Genomics of Mutational Variance

Associate Professor Ross Cunnington, School of Psychology & Queensland Brain Institute: The human mirror system and the perception of others' actions

Dr Greig de Zubicaray, Centre for Magnetic Resonance: The articulate brain

Dr Annette Dexter, AIBN: Designed peptides as functional surfactants

Dr Moaz Fine, currently at Barllan University: Changing Seas at Cellular to Cross-Ocean Scales

Professor Mark Kendall, AIBN: Optimising the body's immune response with a Nanopatch that delivers biomolecules to the skin

Dr Bart Knols, currently at the Wageningen University and Research Centre: Novel control strategies for mosquitoes threatening Australia

Associate Professor Michael Monteiro, AIBN: Transformer 3D Nanostructures: Stimuli Responsive Polymers

Dr Anthony Richardson, currently at the CSIRO: The resilience of marine ecosystems and fisheries to climate change: exploring adaptation strategies

Dr Katryn Stacey, IMB: Foreign DNA is a danger signal for mammalian cells

Professor Ranjeny Thomas, Diamantina Institute: Understanding and regulating autoimmune disease through the nuclear factorkappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-kappaB) family transcription factor, v-relreticuloendotheliosis viral oncogene homolog B (RelB)

Dr Chengzhong Yu, AIBN: Novel Synthesis and Bio-applications of Functional Macroporous Ordered Siliceous Foams

Associate Professor Jin Zou, Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis: Understanding the role of catalysts in the growth of epitaxial semiconductor nanowires and their hierarchical heterostructures

Media: Andrew Dunne at UQ Communications (07 3365 2802 or 0433 364 181).