Two young researchers to represent Australia at Falling Walls Lab Berlin

September 12, 2018
Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO FAA FTSE, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany Dr Anna Prinz, PhD student Samantha Wade and Chief Executive of the Academy, Anna-Maria Arabia.

PhD student Ms Samantha Wade from the University of Wollongong is the winner of the third Australian Falling Walls lab, hosted by the Australian Academy of Science.

Second placed competitor University of Canberra PhD student, Ms Hayley Teasdale, will join Ms Wade to represent Australia at the Falling Walls Lab finale in Berlin on 8 November.

Dr Jason Whitfield from the CSIRO/University of Queensland placed third in the competition.

They joined 17 other researchers and innovators at the Shine Dome in Canberra to present their work in three minutes on subjects including nanoscopic neuroscience, data storage, preterm births and water recycling.

Ms Wade is working on pancreatic cancer, which has a poor survival rate in part due to difficulties in delivering adequate levels of chemotherapeutics to tumours. The required dose is often intolerable to patients.

“I’m developing chemotherapy implants aimed at delivering high doses of multiple chemotherapy drugs directly to the tumour, with minimal side effects to the patient,” Ms Wade said.

Ms Teasdale has designed a technology that can be used to rapidly improve balance and reduce the high risk of falls in the elderly and those with neurological conditions.

Dr Whitfield is developing a point-of-care test to screen for doping biomarkers to improve the targeted testing of athletes and to reduce doping in sport.

The Falling Walls Lab, which began in 2011, provides ‘emerging talents, entrepreneurs and innovators a stage to pitch their research work, initiatives or business models to their peers and a distinguished jury from academia and business’. Labs have taken place in 50 countries.

The Falling Walls Lab Australia is organised by the Australian Academy of Science in association with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Australia.

More information on the international Falling Walls event

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