A new fellowship has been announced by the  National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in recognition of the Australian Nobel Laureate Professor Elizabeth Blackburn.


Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said the NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowships will foster the career development of female scientists excelling in biomedical, clinical and public health research. She said Professor Blackburn’s international career, which includes the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2009, inspired the NHMRC to recognise the next generation of Australian women in science.


The inaugural Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowships were awarded to:


  • Associate Professor Amanda Leach, principal research fellow and leader of the Ear Health Research Program within the Child Health Division at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. She is committed to evidence-based and multidisciplinary research addressing the health problems of Aboriginal children living in remote communities. Her work, largely funded by the NHMRC, focuses on clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of otitis media (middle ear infection), including a number of antibiotic trials and a trial to compare two pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.
  • Associate Professor Christine Roberts, research director of Clinical and Population Perinatal Health Research at the University of Sydney’s Kolling Institute. Prior to her career in public health, she was a medical epidemiologist with clinical experience in obstetrics, paediatrics and neonatology. Her research focuses on utilising population health data to improve health, health service delivery, health policy and planning. She has published 135 papers in national and international journals, is a sought-after international speaker and an active member of research, government and professional organisations.
  • Professor Carola Vinuesa, professor of Immunology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research and head of the Pathogens and Immunity Department. After graduating as a medical doctor in Madrid, Professor Carola Vinuesa undertook clinical training in the UK and was awarded a PhD in 2000. As a Wellcome Trust Travelling Fellow at the Australian National University she discovered novel pathways important for antibody responses and autoimmune diseases. She was awarded a Viertel Fellowship (2007), the Biogen-Idec Prize (2007), the Science Minister’s Prize (2008) and the Gottschalk Medal (2009).