Professor Maria Kavallaris one of The Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence 2015
September 24, 2015
Professor Maria Kavallaris, Head of the Tumour Biology & Targeting Program at Children's Cancer Institute and founding Director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at UNSW Australia, has been named one of The Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence 2015.
In its fourth year, the 100 Women of Influence Awards aim to increase visibility of women’s leadership in Australia. Women are selected on their achievements and contribution to their field and category. A hundred winners are chosen across ten categories: board/management, innovation, public policy, business entrepreneur, diversity, young leader, global, social enterprise or not for profit, philanthropy and local/regional.
Awarded in the Innovation category, Professor Kavallaris is being acknowledged for her internationally recognised contributions as a senior research scientist in the field of cancer biology; for her advocacy work on behalf of medical research within the public, policy and political spheres; and for her inspiring leadership as Director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at UNSW Australia.
Professor Kavallaris is an innovative medical and health science leader. Her belief that approaches to cancer therapeutics and diagnostics must converge in order for disease survival rates to improve drove her to team up with leading researchers in Engineering and Science to establish the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at UNSW Australia in 2011. The nanotechnology field has a limited number of female role models and her influence in this field is impressive.
Recognised by her peers for her excellence, Professor Kavallaris was awarded a five year National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Program Grant, the only one awarded to a female lead investigator commencing in 2016. She is also a chief investigator on an ARC Centre of Excellence in BioNano Science.
Professor Kavallaris’s influence in health and medical research is recognised nationally and internationally by her direct involvement in influential gatherings of peers, and her presence in policy-making forums. For example, she served on the committee that organises the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting – one of the most important gatherings of cancer scientists in the world. In Australia, she was recently appointed by the Federal Minister for Health to the NHMRC Research Committee for the next triennium.
The awards dinner is being held on Thursday 15 October.
About Children’s Cancer Institute
Originally founded by two fathers of children with cancer in 1976, Children’s Cancer Institute is the only independent medical research institute in Australia wholly dedicated to research into the causes, prevention and cure of childhood cancer. Forty years on, our vision remains unchanged – to save the lives of all children with cancer and to eliminate their suffering. The Institute has grown to now employ more than 220 researchers, operational staff and students, and has established a national and international reputation for scientific excellence.
Our focus is on translational research, and we have an integrated team of laboratory researchers and clinician scientists who work together in partnership to discover new treatments which can be progressed from the lab bench to the beds of children on wards in our hospitals as quickly as possible. These new treatments are specifically targeting childhood cancers, so we can develop safer and more effective drugs and drug combinations that will minimise side-effects and ultimately give children with cancer the best chance of a cure with the highest possible quality of life.
We are currently leading the establishment of the Zero Childhood Cancer national child cancer personalised medicine program for children with the most aggressive cancers, in partnership with the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. This program will revolutionise the way treatment decisions are made, with the aim of improving survivorship for those children at highest risk of treatment failure from their disease.