Giving patients more control of their lives

Dr Suetonia Palmer

University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand

Dr Suetonia Palmer is challenging the status quo for kidney disease treatment and helping millions of people with chronic kidney disease take back control of their lives.

Click image for hi-res. Photo: Dr Suetonia Palmer, University of Otago (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)
Click image for hi-res. Photo: Dr Suetonia Palmer, University of Otago (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)

Working from temporary facilities as Christchurch rebuilds, she is guiding doctors and policy makers across the world as they attempt to make the best decisions for their patients.

Continue reading Giving patients more control of their lives

More efficient solar cells with quantum dots

Dr Baohua Jia

Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

The global race to develop high efficiency, low cost solar energy is fierce. And Baohua Jia and her colleagues are front runners.

Click image for hi-res. Photo: Dr Baohua Jia, Swinburne University of Technology (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)
Click image for hi-res. Photo: Dr Baohua Jia, Swinburne University of Technology (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)

Conventional solar cells are efficient, but thick and expensive. Baohua and her colleagues imagine a future when solar cells are so thin and cheap that city skyscrapers will be powered by a coating on their glass. But at present such thin-film solar cells are not efficient enough for general use.

Using her knowledge of nanotechnology and optics, Baohua and her colleagues have already created thin-film solar cells that are more than 20 per cent more efficient than those of her competitors. They have already lodged two patents.

But Baohua thinks she can do better. And that will be the focus of the work assisted by her $25,000 L’Oréal Australia & New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowship.

Continue reading More efficient solar cells with quantum dots

New treatments for blood cancers

Dr Kylie Mason

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research/Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

Click image for hi-res. Photo: Dr Kylie Mason, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research/Royal Melbourne Hospital (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)
Click image for hi-res. Photo: Dr Kylie Mason, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research/Royal Melbourne Hospital (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)

Dr Kylie Mason has set herself the goal of developing new ways of treating diseases that are considered incurable.

Continue reading New treatments for blood cancers

A smarter way to deliver drugs

Georgina Such

Georgina Such, The University of Melbourne (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)
Georgina Such, The University of Melbourne (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)

The University of Melbourne

Smart capsules could change the way we deliver drugs.

Today, when we’re treated for cancer, the drug spreads throughout the body indiscriminately. Along the way it causes side-effects such as nausea and hair loss. Continue reading A smarter way to deliver drugs

Can we save the tiger with mathematics?

Eve McDonald-Madden

Eve McDonald Madden, The University of Queensland (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)
Eve McDonald Madden, The University of Queensland (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)

The University of Queensland

Turning to mathematics to allow us to make smarter conservation decisions.

The diversity of life on Earth underpins the global economy. But we’re losing biodiversity at an unprecedented rate and human-induced climate change will threaten more species—up to 37 per cent of the plants and animals with which we share the world. Continue reading Can we save the tiger with mathematics?

The complex life of coral

Tracy Ainsworth

James Cook University
Coral interactions more complex than ever suspected.

Tracy Ainsworth, James Cook University (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)
Tracy Ainsworth, James Cook University (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)

Dr Tracy Ainsworth’s research is changing our understanding of the life of the tiny coral animals that built Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef.

Her work comes at a critical time for the future of coral reefs—threatened by a warming ocean and by coral bleaching. Continue reading The complex life of coral

Mopping up gases

Deanna D’Alessandro

University of Sydney

A sponge that filters hot air and captures carbon dioxide

Deanna D’Alessandro, The University of Sydney (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)
Deanna D’Alessandro, The University of Sydney (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)

We need better ways of capturing carbon dioxide emissions from power stations and industry. And we won’t be using hydrogen cars until we’ve developed practical ways of carrying enough hydrogen gas in the fuel tank. Deanna D’Alessandro’s understanding of basic chemistry has led her to create new, incredibly absorbent chemicals that could do both these jobs and much more.

It’s all to do with surface area. Working in California and in Sydney she has constructed crystals that are full of minute holes. One teaspoon of the most effective of her chemicals has the surface area of a rugby field. What’s more, the size and shape of the pores can be customised using light. So she believes she can create molecular sponges that will mop up carbon dioxide, hydrogen, or in theory almost any gas – and then release it on cue. Continue reading Mopping up gases

Fighting back against malaria

Rowena Martin

The Australian National University, Canberra/The University of Melbourne

Rowena Martin, The Australian National University, Canberra/The University of Melbourne (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)
Rowena Martin, The Australian National University, Canberra/The University of Melbourne (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)

In the 1950s it seemed as if medical science was winning the fight against malaria with the help of the ‘wonder drug’ chloroquine. Over the past half century the drug has saved hundreds of millions of lives.

But now the parasite that causes malaria has fought back. Chloroquine-resistant malaria has become common in developing countries. Rowena Martin is working to understand what happened, and to develop new ways of treating malaria. Continue reading Fighting back against malaria

How does breast cancer start?

Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Most women in Australia who have breast cancer recover.  But many then relapse years later.

Rowena Martin, The Australian National University, Canberra/The University of Melbourne (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)
Rowena Martin, The Australian National University, Canberra/The University of Melbourne (credit: L’Oréal Australia/sdpmedia.com.au)

Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat wants to know why.  If she can solve this mystery, her work will open up opportunities for new drugs and treatments. Her achievements to date suggest that she is well placed to succeed.

In 2006 she was part of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research team that received global attention for its discovery of breast stem cells – a significant step in understanding how breast cancer starts. Marie-Liesse built on this finding with a series of papers exploring how these cells develop and are influenced by oestrogen and other steroids. Continue reading How does breast cancer start?