Griffith scientist vies for top national Eureka Prize

Griffith University scientist Professor Alan Mackay-Sim is calling on locals of all ages to
support him in his bid to win the People’s Choice Award in the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes,by voting online tomorrow.

Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, deputy director of Griffith’s Eskitis Institute for Cell and

Molecular Therapies, is one of six top Australian scientists in the running for the award, which will be presented at a black tie gala dinner in Sydney on September 6.

Professor Mackay-Sim’s research has shown that nasal cells can be transplanted into the

spinal cord to overcome human paraplegia and has brought hope for many spinal cord

injury sufferers.

“Traumatic spinal cord injury is a life changing event that affects people for the rest of their lives,” he said. “It is not just about loss of movement and sensation but affects all aspects of a person’s health and well being.

“Traditionally the dogma says that a spinal cord injury cannot be treated, only managed but

animal studies have now proven this wrong. This is a win for people in wheelchairs and gives hope for everyone that future injuries will not be a life sentence.

“The Eureka Prizes People’s Choice Award is an important chance to promote science generally and I hope by telling my story that I can help inspire budding scientists to take up

a career in science.”

The six finalists in the Eureka Prizes People’s Choice Award 2011 were chosen from

hundreds of entries in the Eureka Prizes for research and innovation, leadership and

commercialisation and science communication.

The People’s Choice Award goes to the scientist who receives the most online votes during

the voting period.

To find out more about Professor Alan Mackay-Sim and his work and vote, visit

He will also be featured on ABC science show Catalyst on Thursday, August 11 at

8pm with other People’s Choice Award finalists.