Young researchers win Tall Poppy Award
20 October 2005
Three young researchers from the Faculty of Medicine have been successful in securing New South Wales Young Tall Poppy Awards, which were announced at NSW Parliament House on 20 October 2005.
The Young Tall Poppy Program acknowledges outstanding young Australian researchers and encourages them to foster a stronger interest in science in schools and the broader community.
The Faculty of Medicine winners are:
Dr Naomi Rogers, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney.
Dr Rogers researches the effects sleep disruption and loss have on physiological and neurobehavioral functions.
Using jet lag and other sleep depriving medical disorders, such as sleep apnoea and asthma as a model, Dr Rogers compares them with subjects without these disorders.
Dr Rogers’ postdoctoral career includes a fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Faculty position in the Discipline of Psychiatry at the University for five years. Since returning to Australia in 2004, Dr Rogers has worked in the Sleep & Circadian Research Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney.
Dr Deborah Marsh, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Royal North Shore Hospital and the University of Sydney.
Dr Marsh is a molecular geneticist researching the development of inherited and non-inherited cancers. Her work focuses on tumours affecting organs that regulate hormones, as well as ovarian cancer.
After completing her PhD in Sydney in 1996, Dr Marsh undertook three years of postdoctoral study at the Harvard Medical School. A career highlight was her role in the landmark discovery of the gene for the breast, thyroid and endometrial cancer syndrome known as Cowden Syndrome. This gene, called PTEN, has been shown to have a role in the development of a broad range of human cancers and is of interest in the field of molecular diagnostics and therapeutics.
The Tall Poppy Campaign was created by the Australian Institute of Political Science in 1998 as part of the celebrations to mark the birth of Sir Howard Florey.
Dr Janette Burgess, School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney
Dr Burgess’ research focuses on the area of lung diseases, particularly asthma.
Dr Burgess began her career at the University of Adelaide where she completed a BSc with Honours majoring in Biochemistry in 1992. She then moved to Sydney to the Centre for Thrombosis and Vascular Research. In 1998 she was awarded a PhD from UNSW with a thesis entitled ‘Drug-Induced Thrombocytopenia: Characterisation of Antibody-Platelet Interactions’.
In 1999, Dr Burgess joined the asthma research group at the University of Sydney, in the Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biomedical Research and the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. In 2000 she took up a Peter Doherty Fellowship.
Since joining the asthma research group, Dr Burgess has established a molecular biology group which currently consists of seven full time researchers involved in studies aimed at identifying differences between cells from asthmatic and non-asthmatic lungs, as well as trying to determine what causes asthmatic cells to react to triggers.