Cancer researcher Maria Kavallaris among Eureka Prize finalists

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A leading researcher in childhood cancer is among other Greek Australians nominated for the 2021 Australian Museum Eureka Prize. 

Professor Maria Kavallaris is the director of a nano-medicine research hub at the University of New South Wales and has made significant advancements in the research of childhood cancer. 

“To be able to make a difference to the lives of children with cancer and their families by developing better treatments and improving survival rates is very humbling,” she says in a UNSW article. 

“Even if you can save one child’s life, that’s an incredible feat.” 

She’s targeted the resistance of tumors to chemotherapy and developed a means to reverse clinical drug resistance. 

She does this through the study of extremely small things known as ‘nanotechnology’, finding ways to package and deliver chemotherapy drugs in nanostructures that specifically target tumor cells. 

This technology makes use of effects that happen on a nanoscale to improve drug efficacy and safety for growing children.  

This year’s “Oscars of science” also celebrate the work of journalist Anthea Batsakis for her collaboration on an article that examines the impact of the Black Summer bushfire’s damage on fauna and flora. 

The project tells of wildlife rescues, conservation efforts, and wild places returning to life and was published in July 2020. 

Dr. Melina Georgousakis was also nominated for establishing the Franklin Women mentoring program. 

Franklin Women is a for-profit enterprise and community which supports the careers of women in the health and medical research industry. 

Dr. Georgousakis is nominated for the University of Technology Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers prize. 

There are 51 entries shortlisted for 16 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes. Find the full list here. 

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