STEM Entrepreneurs honoured by ATSE

Last week. The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering presented its 2018 Clunies Ross Awards to some of Australia’s leading STEM innovators. The awards recognise the contributions made by individuals who have shared their vision and knowledge to apply technology for the benefit of Australia.

The Clunies Ross Innovation Award was won by Dr Jim Alward who invented a new skin cancer drug called Picato, which he developed from a folklore remedy. The basis of his drug is isolated from the sap of a weed. It is now used to pre-cancerous lesions to prevent them from becoming more serious.

Professor David Huang and collaborators Associate Professor Peter Czabotar, Associate Professor Guillaume Lessene and Professor Andrew Roberts received the Clunies Ross Knowledge Commercialisation Award for their role in the development of a novel, potent anti-cancer drug called venetoclax which is used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

Dr Erol Harvey won the Clunies Ross Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his outstanding contributions to Australia through his world leading microfluidic engineering company MiniFAB. The company custom-designs and produces devices that can analyse microscopic amounts of fluid in situ. An example of such a device is one that can be held up to the eye to sample and analyse a teardrop to diagnose a condition called dry-eye.

You can also hear a podcast of an interview with Dr Harvey here.