UQ Medicine researcher wins 2020 Georgina Sweet Award

13 Oct 2020

University of Queensland Diamantina Institute researcher Associate Professor Antje Blumenthal has been recognised with a 2020 Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science for her work on immune control of bacterial infections.

The prestigious annual award celebrates outstanding female scientists who demonstrate excellence in biological or biomedical research that employs a quantitative approach, particularly in areas such as computational biology, biophysics, bioinformatics, biochemistry, genomics, structural biology or cell biology.

Associate Professor Blumenthal said she was grateful for the recognition of her work.

“It is a great honour to receive this award from the Australian science community,” Associate Professor Blumenthal said.

A Principal Research Fellow at the UQ Diamantina Institute, Associate Professor Blumenthal is internationally recognised for her research on how the immune system recognises pathogenic bacteria, and how immune responses to infection are regulated.

Through her research work, Associate Professor Blumenthal aims to inspire better treatments that can generate appropriate immune responses to stop bacterial infections.

“This has the potential to revolutionise the way we treat people, how long they spend in hospital, and ultimately reduce deaths.

“Diseases such as tuberculosis and sepsis are leading causes of death globally, and are declared priority areas by the World Health Organisation,” Associate Professor Blumenthal said.

“This work is critically important with the significant threat posed by the rapid increase in antibiotic resistance seen across many pathogens.

“New treatments for bacterial infections that make us less reliant on current antibiotics will positively impact the lives of millions of people globally.”

The Award is one of only six in Australia, with each recipient receiving $25,000 towards their research.

“This award will amplify the significant momentum I’ve achieved in my work, and will help support young scientists in my team progress their research careers,” she said.

“Every day, I am excited to see what we can learn about how our immune system fights infection. I am doing what I’ve always wanted to do. A big thank you to all the members of my research team over the years, who share this enthusiasm for discovery and science and our outstanding collaborators,” she said.

Associate Professor Blumenthal received her award at a virtual ceremony on Monday 12 October 2020.

Media: Associate Professor Antje Blumenthal, a.blumenthal@uq.edu.au; Faculty of Medicine Communications, med.media@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 5118, +61 436 368 746.