UQ researchers honoured for research excellence


Seven UQ researchers will tonight be honoured with awards totalling $450,000 at the 2005 UQ Foundation Research Excellence Awards for early career researchers to be held at Brisbane Customs House.

The researchers are conducting studies in areas as diverse as climate change and corporations, echidnas, the knowledge economy, polymers, brain biology and whiplash injury.

Now in their seventh year, the annual awards recognise outstanding performance and leadership potential, and formed part of UQ Research Week (September 19-23).

UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor David Siddle congratulated the winners and commended the diversity of their research.

Professor Siddle said UQ Foundation Research Excellence Awards were among a range of initiatives created by the University to foster and nurture exciting research projects.

"Awards such as these are designed to foster the next generation of quality researchers," he said.

"This year's winners were part of a strongly contested field. The quality and diversity of their research augurs well for the University."

Professor Siddle said the University's research and research-training performance consistently ranked in the top three among Australian universities on widely-accepted measures. UQ researchers competed favourably with the world's best in many areas.

He said as part of its research strategy, the University had invested significant sums in key projects and had been able to attract matching financial support from government and external donors.

This approach has been extremely fruitful, particularly in projects related to bioscience, nanotechnology and neuroscience.

Funding for the winning researchers was provided by the UQ Foundation, UQ's research-only budget and the Vice-Chancellor's Strategic Initiatives Fund.

The 2005 winners are:

  • Dr Andrew Griffiths of UQ's Business School, will receive $60,000 to study corporate resilience and adaptation to long-term global climate change. Dr Griffiths, of Yeerongpilly, can be contacted at Work: 3365 1619; Mobile: 0416 935 752.

  • Dr Steve Johnston of the School of Animal Studies, receives $50,000 to establish the world's largest echidna research centre to be housed on Queensland's Gold Coast. Dr Johnston, of Bellbowrie, can be reached at telephone 5460 1076; Mobile 0408 280 963.

  • Dr Paul Meredith of the Centre for Computational Molecular Science, School of Physical Sciences, will receive $80,000 to learn more about bio-organic polymers that conduct electricity. Dr Meredith, of Pullenvale, can be reached at work telephone 3365 7050.

  • Dr Frederic Meunier of the School of Biomedical Sciences, will receive $80,000 to study basic physiological processes at the molecular level to help tackle neuronal diseases. Dr Meunier, of The Gap, 3365 3506; Mobile: 0405 194 775.

  • Dr Rachel Parker of the School of Political Science and International Studies, will receive $45,000 research into the knowledge economies of six leading OECD countries: Australia, Sweden, Ireland, France, the US and Taiwan. Dr Parker, of West End, can be reached at telephone 3365 2655; Mobile 0416 281 071.

  • Dr Michele Sterling of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, will use her $50,000 to study the traumatic personal cost, and health costs of whiplash injury. Dr Sterling, of The Gap, who is in the UK until September 30, can be reached via email at [email protected]

  • Dr Rodney Rietze of the Queensland Brain Institute, receives $80,000 to identify neural stem cells which may soon unlock the secrets to healing the brain. Dr Rietze, of Toowong, can be contacted at telephone 3346 9559; Mobile 0413 415 061.

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