Dr Bill Liapis and team named finalists in SA’s prestigious science awards

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The finalists for South Australia’s Science Excellence and Innovation Awards have been announced and Greek Australian Dr Vasilios (Bill) Liapis is on the list.

Dr Liapis has been named a finalist in the ‘2023 Innovator or Innovation Team of the Year’ category as part of the ‘RAH Immuno-Targeted Cancer Therapies’ team.  

Other colleagues in the team include Professor Michael Brown, Associate Professor Lisa Ebert, Dr Tessa Gargett, and Dr Alex Staudacher.

According to the awards website, the ‘RAH Immuno-Targeted Cancer Therapies’ project is led by Professor Brown. The team has designed, advanced and translated world-first new therapies for brain and pancreatic cancers. These are diseases for which current treatment options are extremely limited.

Photo: Tima Miroshnichenko / Pexels.

As a result of the team’s focused work over 12 years, new candidate cancer treatments have now progressed to four early-phase clinical trials in patients with solid cancers, including pancreatic and brain cancers.

The RAH Immuno-Targeted Cancer Therapies team developed an innovation known as APOMAB-MTR to deliver radiation directly to cancer cells through antibodies, and genetically engineered cells called CAR-T cells that target cancers through a molecule known as GD2.

Commercialisation and clinical expansion for these innovations are now underway or being explored.

The annual Science Excellence and Innovation Awards recognise the state’s highest-achieving teachers, PhD students, innovators and scientific researchers.

Category winners will be announced at a celebratory dinner in November.

Thanks to the generosity of award sponsors, winners will receive a cash prize to further their career development – $25,000 each for the SA Scientist of the Year and SA Innovator of the Year, and $10,000 for winners of all other categories.

For more information on each finalist, and to learn more about the SA Science Excellence and Innovation Awards program, visit scienceawards.sa.gov.au.

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