Researcher wins Queensland award for women in life sciences

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Researcher wins Queensland award for women in life sciences


USC researcher Dr Joanne Macdonald

3 November 2016

University of the Sunshine Coast researcher Dr Joanne Macdonald has won a statewide award for her ground-breaking research that uses molecular engineering to find solutions to global medical problems.

The USC Senior Lecturer was presented with the Rose-Anne Kelso Commemorative Award at the Globally Engaging Networking Event (GENE 2016) held by Life Sciences Queensland at the Brisbane Convention Centre.

The award, open to female scientists over the age of 30, was based on the collective research of Dr Macdonald, who is also Assistant Professor of Clinical Medical Sciences at Columbia University Medical Center in the United States.

Her research accomplishments include a computer made from DNA molecules able to play a game and a drug for treatment of cocaine overdose. She has recently applied these molecular engineering principles for disease diagnosis.

“The $3,000 will enable me to travel to the International Union of Microbiological Societies conference in Singapore next year, to present my USC team’s latest work in developing rapid tests for detecting pathogens such as Hendra virus from clinical samples,” she said.

Dr Macdonald, who is a member of USC’s Inflammation and Healing Research Cluster and Genecology Research Centre, is also developing rapid diagnostic tests for the Zika virus.

“The support I have received for my research has allowed it to flourish and get to this exciting stage,” she said.

“I’m excited and honoured to be chosen for this award because being a woman scientist can be both rewarding and challenging.

“This award, sponsored by Stockwell, gives me the opportunity to share our research on a global stage, and will hopefully result in further investment in the life sciences industry.”

The award commemorates the lifetime contribution of Rose-Anne Kelso to developing life sciences research in Queensland.

Julie Schomberg

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