Cervical cancer vaccine hero wins international award

12 Jun 2015

Cervical cancer vaccine hero wins international awardThe University of Queensland’s Professor Ian Frazer, co-creator of the cervical cancer vaccine, has won a 2015 European Inventor Award.

Professor Frazer won the Popular Prize section, which was decided by public vote and announced at a ceremony in Paris on 11 June.

The awards acknowledge inventions that have made major contributions towards social, technological and economic progress.

“It’s a great honour to win this award and to have this research acknowledged on a global stage,” he said.

“Events such as this highlight the exciting and innovative research coming from institutes all over the world, and show the importance of turning that research into practical solutions.

“It’s inspiring to have our team’s research celebrated by such a highly-respected group.”

Professor Frazer co-created the Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine with Dr Jian Zhou, and accepted the Popular Prize award with Xiao Yi Sun, Dr Zhou's widow.

Professor Frazer has won more than 20 significant awards for his contributions to science, including being named an Australian National Living Treasure and Australian of the Year.

He was the founding CEO of Brisbane’s Translational Research Institute (TRI) and chairs the TRI Foundation, and is working on a vaccine for genital herpes, a virus that affects hundreds of thousands of people, threatens newborn babies and is believed to contribute to the development of HIV.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj, who attended the European Inventor Awards ceremony during a business trip to Europe, congratulated Professor Frazer, on behalf of UQ.

“Ian is changing lives not only through outstanding science and innovation, but also through exceptional philanthropy,” Professor Høj said.

“Ian and his wife, Caroline, are incredibly generous not only to research and education, but also to artistic and cultural causes.

“As a terrific communicator, mentor and ambassador for research, Ian fosters community-wide understanding of the social value of research, and encourages young and aspiring researchers to aim high and persevere with their ambitions to change and improve lives.”

Media: UQ Senior Communications Officer Katie Rowney, 3365 3439, Katie.Rowney@uq.edu.au