Menzies Researchers Named as Tasmanian Tall Poppies

Menzies Researchers Named as Tasmanian Tall Poppies

We are thrilled that two of our researchers have been named as Tall Poppies.

The Tall Poppy Campaign was created in 1998 by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS) to recognise and celebrate Australian intellectual and scientific excellence and to encourage younger Australians to follow in the footsteps of our STEM stars. It has made significant achievements towards building a more publicly engaged scientific leadership in Australia. The Tasmanian Young Tall Poppy Campaign was launched in 2009 and has seen 25 Tall Poppies across the state.

Dr Andy Flies is one of our Tasmanian Tall Poppies. He leads the Wild Immunology Group and his primary research interest is understanding how the immune system interacts with cancer cells to facilitate better cancer immunotherapies and vaccines. Developing a vaccine to protect Tasmanian devils from the devil facial tumour diseases is his main focus. If you would like to learn more about his research, he was recently interviewed for Science Week.

Associate Professor Dawn Aitken has also been named a Tall Poppy. Her work aims to improve our understanding of osteoarthritis and develop better treatments for the disease.

One of her key research areas is to test new drug treatments. She conducts randomised controlled trials, where patients are allocated to either the study drug or a placebo (that is, a tablet/capsule that looks like the study drug but does not contain the active drug being tested). By doing this she can truly test whether a specific drug improves pain or is able to slow down cartilage loss.

Congratulations to Andy and Dawn!