Small scale research earns UniSA scientist a Tall Poppy awardJuly 31 2018
A University of South Australia researcher who works with materials a billion times smaller than a metre has taken out a Young Tall Poppy Science award for her ground-breaking work in nano-architecture.
Dr Melanie MacGregor, a Santos-UCL Research Fellow at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute, was last night named one of 10 Tall Poppy Scientists for South Australia in 2018.
The 33-year-old is building a solid track record in nanoengineered biomaterials, developing devices using plasma coatings to capture cancer cells from urine samples, growing stem cells and improving oil and gas recovery for the mining sector.
Her research involves designing surfaces at a minute scale to influence how they interact with their environment – a field billed as “the next industrial revolution”.
Dr MacGregor’s key focus involves working with a team of 12 scientists to develop a commercial non-invasive microfluidic device to detect bladder cancer cells in urine. The team is hoping to start clinical trials this year using this new, pain-free technique.
In the five years since completing her PhD at UniSA, Dr MacGregor has published 30 high-impact, peer-reviewed articles and won a number of awards, including the Ian Wark Medal, the John A. Brodie Medal for Chemical Engineering, the Winnovation Engineering Award and the UniSA ITEE ECR Award.
She is a keen supporter and volunteer of Science Alive, the largest single interactive science exhibition in Australia, and actively promotes women in STEM.
An example of Dr MacGregor's work can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAVTpzPJSwY
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Areas of study and research
- Health Research
- Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA)
- Centre for Cancer Biology
- Centre for Drug Discovery and Development
- Centre for Population Health Research
- Centre of Research Excellence for the Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Rural and Remote High Risk Populations
- International Centre for Allied Health Evidence
- Medicine and Device Surveillance CRE
- Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre
and Social Sciences
- Art, Architecture and Design
- Communication, International Studies and Languages
- Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy
- Hawke Research Institute
- Asia Pacific Centre for Work Health and Safety
- Australian Centre for Child Protection
- Barbara Hardy Institute
- Centre for Research in Education
- Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence
- Centre for Islamic Thought and Education
- International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding
- Research Centre for Languages and Cultures
- Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour (sd+b)
IT, Engineering and
- Future Industries Institute
- UniSA College