With one week to go before the 2022 Prime Minister's Prizes for Science, some of our 2021 recipients share what they have been up to since receiving their prize.
Tracking virus evolution
Professor Edward (Eddie) Holmes from the University of Sydney was the 2021 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science recipient. He was awarded the prize for his transformative role in the scientific response to COVID-19, and his ground-breaking research into the evolution of viral diseases.
Since receiving the prize, Eddie has continued his research into the origins of COVID-19. He has conducted sampling of wet market animal diseases and species in Fiordland, New Zealand to develop our understanding of how viruses move in singular ecosystems.
Prolonging human life
Professor Anthony (Tony) Weiss AM from the University of Sydney was the 2021 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation recipient. He was awarded the prize in recognition for his pioneering research and commercialisation of synthetic tropoelastin-based biomaterials, which can accelerate and improve the repair of human tissue.
Since receiving the prize, Anthony has developed vital technologies to prolong human life. This includes a liquid that is injected into a damaged heart, ensuring it is protected and beats in rhythm. This helps manufacture synthetic blood vessels that transform into living functional blood vessels following surgery.
Inspiring girls and women in STEM
Mrs Megan Hayes from the Mudgeeraba Creek State School was 2021 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools recipient. She received the award in recognition for her outstanding work in championing STEM education at a national level.
Since receiving the prize, Megan hosted the ‘Sistas in STEM’ conference. The conference provides a program of hands-on workshops, research projects and cutting-edge presentations to inspire female students towards a career in STEM. In just a year, the number of year 6 and 7 female students participating has grown from 36 to 120!