Two students from The University of Western Australia were last night recognised in the 2019 Premier’s Science Awards, which celebrate the achievements of the Western Australian science community.
Jessica Kretzmann, a PhD candidate in the School of Molecular Sciences, won ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year and Sharynne Hamilton, a PhD candidate with the UWA-affiliated Telethon Kids Institute, was named the inaugural Shell Aboriginal STEM Student of the Year.
Ms Kretzmann’s research focuses on the design and evaluation of new gene therapies that have the potential to revolutionise cancer treatment and avoid traditional side effects of chemotherapy.
Ms Hamilton’s doctorate seeks to merge western neurodevelopmental science with the social determinants of Aboriginal health to provide a framework which promotes healing in WA communities.
Professor Carol Bower, from Telethon Kids Institute, was also inducted into the Science Hall of Fame for her lifelong contribution to child health and particularly her research on folate and neural tube defects.
Professor Bower was part of an international team that confirmed a link between maternal intake of folate and the prevention of neural tube defects such as spina bifida in babies. She is currently working in the area of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater said it was particularly pleasing to see Ms Hamilton take out the Shell Aboriginal STEM Student of the Year – a new award category this year.
“The University is applying its very best minds, through research excellence, local and global collaboration and the power of collective intelligence, to solve the world’s grand challenges,” Professor Freshwater said.
“We are proud of them all.”
Simone Hewett (UWA Media and PR Adviser) 08 6488 7975