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HMRI trio standing tall in science awards

Sep 29 2016

Dr Tracey Burrows, Dr Adam Collison, Dr Susan Hua

Three innovative University of Newcastle (UON) and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) researchers have been awarded the prestigious title of Young Tall Poppy in the science awards ceremony at the Museum of Applied Arts and Science tonight.

Further to her award, Dr Tracy Burrows was also recognised as the NSW Young Tall Poppy of the year, an outstanding achievement fueled by her cutting-edge research into food addiction.

Dr Tracy Burrows, Dr Adam Collison and Dr Susan Hua are among 13 bright young researchers showcasing the diversity of research being carried out across NSW.

Dr Burrows, a senior lecturer in the School of Health Sciences, is investigating whether humans can become addicted to certain foods, particularly those highly processed foods seen as major contributors to overweight and obesity. A background in obesity and dietary assessment provides her with a unique perspective.

Dr Adam Collison is an immunologist focusing on identifying and treating allergies. His research has focused on exploring new therapeutic targets and molecular biomarkers to better assist in the identification and treatment of asthma and food allergy. He aims to undertake cutting-edge research in close collaboration with other scientists and medical doctors, to develop better diagnostics and treatments for these common and debilitating diseases.

Dr Susan Hua is a clinical pharmacist with a focus on nanomedicines for therapeutic targeting. Her research involves designing and manufacturing “vehicles or carriers” for drugs - she then modifies the nanoparticle's surface to act like a “GPS” to direct the cargo to the site of disease.

The Tall Poppy awards are run by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS) to honour up-and-coming scientists who combine world-class research with a passionate commitment to communicating science. The awards are held on a state by state basis to celebrate researchers across science, engineering and mathematics.

“These Tall Poppies are already showing great promise here in NSW,” AIPS General Manager Ms Camille Thomson said. “We are excited to see them become the guiding lights of science to future generations of enquiring minds.” 

As part of the Young Tall Poppy campaign, award winners will spend a year sharing their knowledge with school students, teachers and the broader community through workshops, seminars and public lectures.

Young Tall Poppies are nominated by their peers and are early career researchers who have under 10year’s post-doctoral experience. Selection is based on research achievement and leadership potential. Over 500 young scientists have been honoured nationally since the awards were established in 2000.