The 2012 L’Oreal Australia and New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowships recipients have been announced, with three remarkable young women scientists sharing in $75,000. 


The three recipients are:

Dr Suetonia Palmer – University of Otago

Dr Palmer has received the fellowship for her ongoing work in tackling chronic kidney disease. Her work in helping doctors and policy makers handle the growing problem of chronic disease has ensured sufferers increasingly have access to well informed and delivered treatment options.


“I believe we can do much more to help people with kidney disease feel better, get back to work, and give them control of their own treatment,” Dr Palmer said.


Dr Baohua Jia – Swinburne University of Technology

Swinburne’s Dr Jia’s substantial contribution to the world’s ongoing march towards developing high efficiency, low cost solar energy options has seen the young doctor take out the Fellowship for 2012.


Dr Jia’s work focuses on seeing conventional solar cells, which are efficient, but thick and expensive, become a low cost and easy alternative to modern energy generation methods.


Using her knowledge of nanotechnology, Dr Jia and her colleagues have already created thin-film solar cells that are more than 20 per cent efficient than her competitors.


Dr Kylie Mason – Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Research

Dr Mason’s pioneering work in developing new treatments for blood cancers has seen the young clinician receive this year’s fellowship.


Dr Mason’s work into better understanding as to why cancer cells ‘forget to die’ has contributed to a number of treatments for blood cancers, some of which are being clinically trialled in Melbourne.


Her own battle with leukaemia inspired her to throw herself into a career battling blood cancers, seeing her qualify as a doctor and in turn trained as a blood specialist.


Training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and at the Austin Hospital I spent a lot of time looking after patients with various blood cancers,” she says. “While we could successfully treat most of the children, helping adults was harder. About half of the adults with acute leukaemia still die of their disease.”