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Congrats to Jamie, Gabby, Erica & David -Finalists of Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion

Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) researchers have been announced as finalists in three separate 2019 Eureka Prize award categories! Congratulations to Professor Mariapia Degli-Esposti and her team, Professor Jamie Rossjohn and his team, and Professor Paul Wood AO on this incredible achievement.

ARC Laureate Fellow, Professor Jamie Rossjohn, and his team are finalists for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion. The team, including Dr Gabby Watson and Dr Erica Tandori from the Monash BDI and Dr David Jacques from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), developed an innovative program that aims to engage members of the blind and low vision community with science.

Often when science is conveyed to the public, the audience is assumed to be able-bodied. Members of the community with disabilities are frequently overlooked when the method to communicate the scientific discovery is not specifically tailored to their needs. A prime example is the blind and low vision community of more than half a million Australians.

Conceiving the idea for the Sensory Scientific Exhibition and Discovery Day, Professor Rossjohn joined forces with project leader Dr Watson, and legally-blind artist-in-residence Dr Tandori, who transformed scientific concepts into tactile models and artistic displays that were specifically tailored to this community.

“As the artist working with this amazing team, I can open up a world of scientific discovery to the low vision and blind communities – finally, we can all be part of the wonder of science, and share  this  in a way that is accessible to everybody,” Dr Tandori said.

Following the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the first exhibition held at Monash in May 2018, the team engaged with Dr Jacques at UNSW, who spearheaded the second Sensory Scientific Exhibition held in Sydney in December the same year.

The winners will be announced on Wednesday 28 August at Sydney Town Hall. For more information on the Eureka Prize, visit the Australian Museum website.

Original article

Photo: Professor Jamie Rossjohn, Dr Erica Tandori and Dr Gabby Watson. Absent: Dr David Jacques.

2016 Victoria Prize for Science & Innovation

The Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation recognises the outstanding work of established Victorian scientists and the impact of their research.
Prof Jamie Rossjohn, of Monash University, and Prof James McCluskey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at University of Melbourne, last night received the Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation for 15 years of pioneering work in understanding of how T lymphocytes from the immune system recognise harmful microbes.
Their research aims to build better vaccines, diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, peptic ulcers and tuberculosis.

Original article

Eureka Gold for Jamie, Jim and Lars

Last night at a gala event in Sydney, Australia Museum Eureka prizes were awarded for outstanding achievements in research and innovation, teaching, leadership, communication and journalism.

Of the 18 awards on offer, Professor Jamie Rossjohn, from the School of Biomedical Sciences’ Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, together with Professor James McCluskey and Dr Lars Kjer-Nielsen from the University of Melbourne won the University of New South Wales Eureka Prize for Scientific Research.

The team uncovered what activates a widespread, but, until recently, mysterious gut-dwelling immune cell. They noticed that a protein from these cells only formed properly in the presence of by-products of vitamin B, which are formed by invasive bacteria and yeast. It became clear that these vitamin B metabolites were providing early warning to our immune system.

This discovery will improve our understanding of the interplay between gut bacteria and the immune system, infections from thrush to TB, and open up opportunities for vaccine development and other therapeutics.

Original article

For more information: http://australianmuseum.net.au/eureka.

Image: Australian Museum Eureka Prizes and photographer Daniel O’Doherty.

Other stories:

https://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2013/09/04/3841036.htm