Three of the University of South Australia’s brightest young researchers have been recognised in the state’s 2014 Tall Poppy Awards, announced at Government House last night.
Dr Stephanie Reuter Lange, Dr Michael Short and Dr Margarita Tsiros were among eight researchers in South Australia to be named Tall Poppies, acknowledging not only their world-class research but also the important role they play in promoting science to the wider community.
Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President: Research and Innovation, Professor Richard Head says the Tall Poppy Awards celebrate the enterprising research taking place in South Australia and the young researchers driving it.
“The Tall Poppy Awards acknowledge the best young researchers on the rise, who are pushing the limits in the field of science and in doing so, contributing to the well-being and prosperity of our state. We are thrilled that three of these up-and-coming researchers are from the University of South Australia,” Prof Head says.
“From improving the ‘carbon footprint’ of the water industry, to treating infectious diseases and developing new approaches to combat childhood obesity, these UniSA researchers are working to make a real difference in our society.
“They are also actively engaging with the public to share their research and pass on their passion for science. As we see a global decline in the number of people pursuing careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, it has never been more important to highlight the incredible possibilities and achievements in these critical fields.”
UniSA’s Tall Poppy recipients are:
Dr Stephanie Reuter Lange is developing personalised treatments that ensure patients receive the right medication dosage which allows the drug to work effectively without negative side effects. Personalised treatments are particularly important in treating infectious diseases, as an overdose may produce toxicity while an underdose can lead to the development of drug-resistant ‘superbugs’.
Dr Michael Short focuses on improving the environmental performance of industrial processes in the urban water industry. Working closely with industry partners, Dr Short has led a number of projects which have enhanced the environmental performance and cost-effectiveness of the water industry, in areas such as water recycling operations and domestic hot water systems.
Dr Margarita Tsiros is examining whether obesity should be considered a childhood disability. With a background in physiotherapy, her research reveals obese children have lower physical well-being and face difficulties performing everyday tasks such as walking. Dr Tsiros is developing innovative approaches to increase physical activity and improve the well-being of these obese children.
Each year, the Tall Poppy Awards recognize the individual researchers who combine world-class research with a commitment to science communications. This year’s recipients are now in the running to win the South Australian Tall Poppy of the Year Award at the State’s Science Excellence Awards on August 8.
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