Anne Bruestle and Vini Gautam wins ACT Young Tall Poppy Science Award

Dr Anne Bruestle and Dr Vini Gautam have been honoured for their contribution to science in the ACT Young Tall Poppy Science Awards for 2018.

Dr Bruestle and Dr Gautam, from The John Curtin School of Medical Research were two of four researchers from ANU to win the award this year, with Dr Erin Walsh from the Research School of Population Health and Dr Edward Simpson from the Research School of Physics and Engineering.

Professor Maria Kavallaris, Chair, Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS), congratulated the winners.

“Tall Poppies are shaping the future of health care, our environment and our way of life in ways that we cannot even imagine. Their passion for communicating their work means many more will hear about the fantastic work being carried out right here in Australia.”

Dr Bruestle studies the role of adaptive immune cells called T helper 17 in the onset and development of multiple sclerosis (MS). She focuses on the identification of potential drug targets and markers for disease progression. Dr Bruestle has developed collaborations with clinicians at The Canberra Hospital to facilitate the transfer of her findings from the lab to the patients.

Dr Gautam uses nanotechnologies to create scaffolds that closely mimic the structure of the brain,  to study neuron growth and the development of physiological circuit functions. These scaffolds are a first step in the design of implants to help patients with brain damage following an accident, stroke, tumour or neurodegenerative disease.

The Tall Poppy Campaign was created in 1998 by the AIPS to recognise and celebrate Australian scientific excellence and to encourage younger Australians to follow in the footsteps of our outstanding achievers.

Dr Bruestle and Dr Gautam will spend a year sharing their knowledge with school students, teachers and the broader community through workshops, seminars and public lectures.

Congratulations, Anne and Vini!