18 October 2017

The fruits of research applauded with the PM’s Prizes for Science

Australian Research Council (ARC) Chief Executive Officer, Professor Sue Thomas, congratulates the recipients of the 2017 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, including those whose research has been supported by the Australian Government through the ARC.

The annual Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are considered Australia’s most esteemed awards to recognise and celebrate outstanding achievement in scientific research, research-based innovation and excellence in science teaching.

Professor Thomas extended special congratulations, on behalf of ARC, to all the recipients, each recognised for their outstanding contributions to Australian research and innovation, and welcomed the important benefits that their research endeavours were delivering to the Australian community.

Professor Jenny Graves

Professor Graves received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for her pioneering research into the genetics of sex, transforming our understanding of how humans and all vertebrate animals evolved and function. Professor Graves studied human and animal genomes to understand the complexity of the human genome and to reveal new genes. This has transformed our understanding of how sex chromosomes work and how they evolved. Her research has also contributed to a deeper understanding of the immune system, and helped understand the tumour driving the Tasmanian devil to extinction. Professor Graves has led several ARC Discovery Projects grants.

Professor Eric Reynolds

Professor Reynolds received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation for his invention and commercialisation of dental product Recaldent, after discovering a protein in dairy milk that repairs and strengthens teeth. Professor Reynolds works with Australian and global businesses to create new products to further improve oral health. His team have also developed a test and vaccine for severe gum disease which is now being commercialised. Professor Reynolds has been involved in several ARC Discovery Projects and Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grants.

Professor Jian Yang

Professor Yang received the Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year for creating ways to understand inherited traits and the human genome, pioneering new techniques to unravel that complexity and solve the ‘missing heritability paradox’. Professor Yang developed a new statistical method to analyse genomic variation and showed that genetic variation in obesity, cognitive ability, and schizophrenia are due to the contribution of a large number of genetic variants across the genome. Professor Yang has led several ARC Discovery Projects grants.

Professor Dayong Jin

Professor Jin received the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year for creating new technologies to image the processes of life, developing new kinds of microscopes that allow us to watch molecules at work inside living cells. He is working to commercialise technologies will enable portable, easy to use devices to detect the first signs of disease, evidence of drugs, or of toxins in food and the environment. A current ARC Future Fellow, Professor Jin has also led several Linkage Projects and Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grants, and is the Director of the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Integrated Device for End-user Analysis at Low-levels.

“All of these researchers are making critical and remarkable contributions towards the advancement of science and research in Australia and delivering tangible benefits to Australians.

“I am delighted that their efforts and dedication has been recognised with these awards and proud that the ARC has supported their important research,” said Professor Thomas.

For more information about all 2017 prize winners, visit the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science website. For more information about ARC funding schemes, visit the ARC website.
Media contact:
ARC Stakeholder Relations
0412 623 056 or communications@arc.gov.au