Tall Poppy award celebrates scientific excellence

Dr Lara Herrero and Science Minister Hon. Ian Walker at 2014 Tall Young Poppy Awards

Institute for Glycomics scientist Dr Lara Herrerohas been recognised for scientific excellence with a2014 Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Award.

Dr Herrero is studying viruses in the body that survive by hijacking healthy cells.

“Mosquito-transmitted viral diseases, such as Dengue and Chikungunya, are expanding in their global distribution and pose a significant threat to Australia. I am working on identifying critical components of both the virus and the mosquito which may prevent or limit the spread of these mosquito-borne diseases,” Dr Herrero said.

“My research has discovered a potential new treatment strategy for viral arthritis and has led to the development of primary cell-culture models for studying virus-induced arthritis.”

Dr Herrero’s award celebrates Australian intellectual and scientific excellence and encourages younger Australians to follow in the footsteps of our outstanding achievers.

She will use the award to open doors to engagement with the public, including additional visits to schools, and with government.

“The award provides encouragement that the focus of my research meets with the expectations of not only scientific peers, but also the public and government,” Dr Herrero said.

“It will increase exposure of the research conducted by our team and provide a conduit for public awareness of science.

“Promoting the importance of science and its impact on society is an important priority for all researchers.”

Director of the Institute for Glycomics Professor Mark von Itzstein was delighted on the announcement.

“Lara has established herself as a Future Research Leader in the Institute and is carrying out outstanding research that is attracting National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Research Council funding.

“She is a wonderful role model for young budding female scientists. Lara has an exciting research career ahead of her.”

Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts, The Honourable Ian Walker MP said science was an area where the best and brightest could change people’s lives.

We have some very impressive young scientists making their way up the ranks in Queensland and the work they are doing will have a huge impact on our future.”

The Tall Poppy Campaign was created in 1998 by theAustralian Institute of Policy and Science.