Mater Research recognised at 2018 Women in Technology Awards

Monday 17 September 2018

Mater researchers received two prestigious awards at this year’s Women in Technology (WiT) awards ceremony held at the Royal International Convention Centre last week (Friday 14 September).

The WiT Awards are the biggest and longest-running showcase of their kind in Australia, attracting a record field of entries this year from all branches of ICT and life sciences, including medical researchers, inventors, scientists, computer engineers, start-up innovators, employers and entrepreneurs.

Mater Research Director of Biomedical Research Associate Professor Allison Pettit was presented the Life Sciences Outstanding Achievement Award for her ground breaking work in bone disease and her contribution to the advancement of female science researchers.

As an ARC Future Fellow, A/Prof Pettit holds significant grant funding, including from the National Health and Medical Research Council and has published over 60 peer-reviewed scientific publications. She has been recognised for her work in dendritic cell biology, rheumatology, osteoimmunology and haematology.

In her prior roles as Head of Research Strategy and Chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee A/Prof Pettit has driven a number of initiatives in Mater Research, including the Mater Research Strategic Grant for Outstanding Women and proactive approaches to the management of research integrity.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have received this award and would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge my team, Mater Research leadership and colleagues and Mater Foundation for their support, as these have been integral in my achievements to date,” A/Prof Pettit said.

In another Mater Research award win on the night, Equity Trustees Cancer Award recipient and Group Leader in Breast Physiology and Cancer Research Dr Felicity Davis was presented with the Life Sciences Rising Star Award for her work in helping unlock the mysteries of breast cancer.

Dr Davis is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellow and Senior Research Fellow at Mater Research.  She has authored 20 research articles and reviews including first or senior author manuscripts in Nature Communications, PNAS, Oncogene, Trends in Cell Biology and Trends in Pharmacological Sciences.

Dr Davis’ Breast Physiology and Cancer Research Group studies the unique capacity of the breast to sustain multiple cycles of pregnancy and lactation. 

“To receive acknowledgement of my work at this early stage of research independence is truly incredible and I am extremely proud of the exciting work my research team and I have been able to perform since I joined Mater Research earlier this year, supported by the NHMRC, UQ, Mater Foundation and Equity Trustees,” Dr Davis said.

“I hope that during my career I can support the growth of other early career female researchers.” 

More than 600 guests gathered at the Royal International Convention Centre as the winners were announced in 12 categories including employer-of-choice awards for both small (sponsored by Mater Research) and large business. The awards acknowledge young achievers at the start of their career in ICT or life sciences, to rising stars and industry leaders at the top of their field.

Mater Research Director of Operations Associate Professor Aimee Catalan said she was very proud of the achievements of both recipients.

“Mater Research is committed to supporting our employees by creating choice and agility to meet present and future challenges.  Achieving two significant awards at WiT is a wonderful acknowledgement of the dedication of our research teams and is well deserved,” A/Prof Catalan said.