UQ celebrates six Young Tall Poppies

Six University of Queensland scientists featured among 14 Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Award winners lauded at a ceremony last night.

The annual Young Tall Poppy Awards celebrate outstanding young scientists who demonstrate excellence in both research and science communication.

The UQ winners work across areas spanning physics, nanomedicine, quantum information, volcanology, neuroscience, and antimicrobial resistance.

Minister for Science Leeanne Enoch said the Young Tall Poppies were part of an amazing array of scientists doing extraordinary things in Queensland.

“It’s important to celebrate this scientific excellence and achievement, to inspire young Australians to pursue careers in science and to help raise the profile of science in the broader community,” she said.

The grand award of Queensland Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year went to James Cook University environmental scientist Dr Alana Grech. That honour went to UQ grain researcher Dr Lee Hickey last year.

UQ’s Tall Poppies are:

  • Neuroscientist and TV presenter Dr Sean Coakley , whose research involving a microscopic worm could lead to the development of treatments for dementia and brain and spinal cord injuries.
  • Atomic theorist Dr Jacinda Ginges , who is striving to answer some of the big questions in science, such as why there is more matter than antimatter in our universe.
  • Dr Amirali Popat , a research pharmacist and Young Nanotechnology Ambassador who delights in taking science to the classroom and is working to develop nanoparticle drug delivery systems with applications in inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and cancer.
  • Experimental quantum physicist Dr Jacqui Romero , who works on higher-dimensional quantum encodings to improve information security, and is part of a team that has shown that both the chicken and the egg could have come first.
  • Igneous petrologist and volcanologist Dr Teresa Ubide , who has found that tiny crystals formed deep in volcanoes may be the key to advance warnings before eruptions.
  • Clinical microbiologist and infectious diseases scientist Dr Hosam Zowawi , who researches antibiotic-resistant bacteria and is part of a team that discovered a new wave of highly antibiotic-resistant superbugs in the Middle East Gulf States.

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