Vote for Steve!
24 July 2008
Professor Stephen Simpson is a finalist in two of the 2008 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes categories - for Scientific Research and the People's Choice Award.
The public can vote for Steve in the People's Choice Award via the Australian Museum's Eureka Prizes website from 24 July until 17 August 2008.
Professor Simpson is a Federation Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney, whose work on locusts and what causes them to swarm, has led to some amazing findings that have provided fundamental insights into the dietary causes of the human obesity epidemic and the aging process.
Originally from Australia, Professor Simpson worked at Oxford University for 22 years, before returning to Australia as a Federation Fellow in 2005.
Within the past three years, working at the University of Sydney, Professor Simpson's work has made an enormous impact on biological research in Australia and internationally.
Not only has he uncovered the mechanisms by which solitary locusts turn into swarmers - work that has received funding from the United Nations and the Australian Plague Locust Commission - but his research has provided key knowledge on human diets and obesity, and revolutionised research on ageing.
While working on why locusts swarm, Professor Simpson found their marching is caused by a desperate search for protein.
Finding that locusts and crickets have an appetite for protein separate to their appetite for carbohydrates and fats, Professor Simpson and his team subsequently found that this also applies to rodents, birds, fish and even humans.
This finding led to further research on the specific protein appetite, with Professor Simpson discovering that protein intake is tightly regulated in humans and other animals, taking priority over intake of other nutrients. His 'protein leverage hypothesis' has far reaching implications for nutrition and aging research.
Professor Simpson's work spans the ecological scale to the molecular scale in biology - a huge undertaking which sees him collaborating with scientists across many disciplines.
The huge importance of Professor Simpson's work has been recognised by being published in the highest ranked international scientific journals, including two papers in Science, three papers in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, three papers in Current Biology, and three papers in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, with additional feature articles in Science and Nature - all just in the past three years.
Help him win the 2008 Australian Museum Eureka Prize People's Choice Award by voting before 17 August 2008 at: www.australianmuseum.net.au/eureka
Contact: Katynna Gill
Phone: 02 9351 6997