And again it was Eureka time: 16 winners with outstanding contributions to Australia's science were honoured at this year's Award Dinner held at Sydney Town Hall.
The 2016 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes were awarded across four categories, and came together with a total of $160,000 in prize money.
The winners include:
Research and Innovation
The CSIRO Marine Debris Team has won the 2016 NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Eureka Prize for Environmental Research. They identified the sources and distribution of marine debris at a national scale around Australia's coastline, and translated the scientific information into effective policy and behavioural change by combining rigorous research with citizen science, outreach to government and media engagement.
The Trace Elements in Past Oceans (TEPO) project has won the 2016 UNSW Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research. TEPO is a multidisciplanary collaboration between CODES - ARC Centre of Excellence, University of Tasmania; Flinders University; the Russian Academy of Science; and the University of California. The partners apply analytical chemistry, geology, palaeontology, evolutionary biology and toxicology towards a better understanding of the connections between plate tectonics, past ocean chemistry and the evolution and extinction of life on Earth.
FANTOM5 has won the 2016 Scopus Eureka Prize for Excellence in International Scientific Collaboration
The project is a collaboration between the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research; the University of Melbourne; the University of Queensland; the Translational Research Institute; the Telethon Kids Institute; and RIKEN Japan. The partners map the sets of genes expressed in each of our cell types, which then can be used to interpret genetic diseases and engineer new cells for therapeutic use.
Professor Leann Tilley, Dr Nick Klonis, Associate Professor Julie Simpson and Associate Professor James McCaw, all from the University of Melbourne, have won the 2016 Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research.
Malaria kills nearly half a million children each year, and the emergence of resistance to the first-line antimalarial drug, artemisinin, is looming as a major global health crisis. Professor Leann Tilley and her team have made a number of key scientific discoveries leading to insights into how artemisinin resistance may be overcome.
Professor David Huang, Dr Peter Czabotar, Associate Professor Guillaume Lessene and Professor Andrew Roberts, all from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research have won the 2016 Johnson & Johnson Eureka Prize for Innovation in Medical Research.
The work undertaken by Professor David Huang and his team has transformed a basic Australian research discovery into a new cancer therapy approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Central to the achievement is the development of a novel class of targeted anticancer drug, the BH3 mimetic compounds.
Professor Ewa Goldys from (Macquarie University) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, and Dr Martin Gosnell, from Quantitative Pty Ltd have won the ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology.
The hyperspectral imaging technology, developed by Professor Ewa Goldys and Dr Martin Gosnell, enables the colour of cells and tissues to be used as a non-invasive medical diagnostic tool. The approach is easily accessible and yields translational outcomes for patients and industry.
Dr Michael Bowen, from the University of Sydney, has won the 2016 Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher.
Focussing on novel treatments for serious brain disorders, Dr Bowen's research has established oxytocin, and novel molecules that target the brain’s oxytocin system as prime candidates to fill the void left by the lack of effective treatments for alcohol-use disorders and social disorders.
Thales Australia has won the 2016 Defence Science and Technology Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia.
Traditional light weight military vehicles are susceptible to battlefield damage from improvised explosive devices and small arms fire. The innovative new Hawkei, developed by Thales, provides Australian soldiers with potentially life-saving protection against roadside bombs and other threats.
Kidney in a Dish, a project by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute has won the 2016 UNSW Eureka Prize for Scientific Research.
Kidney disease affects one in 10 Australians, with kidney failure increasing at six percent per annum. Recognising the urgent need for new treatment options, Professor Melissa Little and Dr Minoru Takasato have recreated human kidney tissue from stem cells, opening the door to disease modelling, drug screening, and ultimately replacement organs.
Associate Professor Sharath Sriram, from RMIT University, has won the 2016 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science.
The work of Associate Professor Sharath Sriram harnesses the functionality of materials and objects at extremely small scales. His leadership transcends science, to include team mentorship, the establishment of a $30 million research facility and national science advocacy for early- and mid-career researchers.
Professor Gordon Wallace, from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science at the University of Wollongong has won the CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science.
Professor Wallace is an internationally renowned researcher, who has cultivated a research vision in the area of ‘intelligent polymers’. His collaborative team has pioneered the use of nanotechnology and additive fabrication in renewable energy and medical science.
Professor Patricia Davidson, from the University of Technology Sydney, has won the 2016 University of Technology Sydney Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers.
Professor Davidson is highly regarded for her commitment to the development of early- and mid-career researchers. She creates an inclusive and safe learning environment for researchers to develop as scholars, and has continued to mentor and work collaboratively with many of her students once they have established their own research careers.
Fireballs in the Sky, a project by the Curtin University, has won the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science. The project is an innovative Australian citizen science program that connects the public with the research of the Desert Fireball Network. This research aims to understand the early workings of the solar system, and Fireballs in the Sky invites people around the world to learn about this science, contributing fireball sightings via a user-friendly app. To date, more than 23,000 people have downloaded the app world-wide and participated in planetary science.
Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith, from CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, has won the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research.
Dr Harvey-Smith is a black hole hunter and a dynamic communicator bringing astronomy and its real-world impacts to life. It is the strong engagement that Dr Harvey-Smith fosters with schools, institutions and her public audience, particularly girls and indigenous students, which sets her outreach apart.
Wain Fimeri, Sonya Pemberton, Dr Derek Muller and Steve Westh have won the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Eureka Prize for Science Journalism.
Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail is an Australian made series, an epic journey through nine countries and more than a century of stories, to discover the element that shaped the modern world.