2013 CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science

From little things, big things grow: nanotech expert wins Eureka Prize.

The University of Melbourne’s Professor Frank Caruso, an international nanotechnology expert, has won the CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science for his leadership in developing nanotechnology-enabled materials for biomedical applications.

He believes these materials have great promise for drug delivery and imaging, and have the potential to revolutionise healthcare and medicine.

Professor Caruso, an ARC Australian Laureate Fellow at the university’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, enjoys a global reputation as a lecturer, researcher and published author. He is a co-inventor of 16 patents in the past six years and has authored over 300 papers which have been cited more than 26,000 times. He has led the development of the Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, of a centralised electron microscopy centre for the University of Melbourne, and guided the development of the Melbourne Materials Institute.

“Frank Caruso has succeeded in creating a new field of science creating interdisciplinary approaches to push forward the boundaries of nano-medicine, nano-biotechnology and drug delivery,” Frank Howarth, Director of the Australian Museum said.

“He has brought together teams of researchers combining chemistry, biology, medicine and engineering. He has supervised more than 50 PhD students and research fellows and mentored many early career researchers.”

In 2012 alone he delivered two plenary talks and 10 invited conference presentations. This year he also delivered the Bayer Distinguished Lecture at Texas A&M University and was invited to guest edit the leading academic journal, Chemical Society Reviews.

The two other finalists in the category achieved significant success in encouraging research in the areas of quantum computing and groundwater usage.

Professor Michelle Simmons of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communications Technology at UNSW in Sydney was nominated for her work leading 180 Australian researchers to the forefront of global electronics investigation.

Professor Craig Simmons, Director of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training at Flinders University in Adelaide, was nominated for initiating significant new national policy directions in the management of groundwater resources.

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of research and innovation, leadership and commercialisation, science journalism and communication, and school science. This year the 17 sponsored prizes include awards for agriculture, defence, infectious diseases and innovative use of technology.

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Kea Lambert , Project Officer, Eureka Prizes
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