Flinders University’s world-leading gastrointestinal expert, Professor Graeme Young (pictured), has been named South Australia’s Scientist of the Year for 2013.
The Professor of Global Gastrointestinal Health was awarded the prestigious accolade at the Science Excellence Awards – the state’s premier event to honour outstanding achievers in science and research – on Friday (August 16) at the Adelaide Town Hall.
It is the second consecutive year that a Flinders University academic has taken out the title, with Professor of Biomedical Engineering Karen Reynolds named the SA Scientist of the Year for 2012.
The panel of 13 judges commended Professor Young for his instrumental role in developing the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, as well as for his tireless efforts to prevent infant deaths from diarrhoea in developing countries as the lead investigator on a major international project.
He was also acknowledged for his key role in establishing the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer – a leading cancer centre in Australia housing world-class care and survivorship services, alongside innovative cancer prevention and early intervention research.
In accepting the award, Professor Young said he felt privileged to be part of research that has directly influenced healthcare systems on a global scale.
“Science is one of the main ways in which we can improve society and enrich lives, including that of other societies less fortunate and less empowered than us,” Professor Young said at the awards ceremony.
“I am truly privileged to have been involved in several scientific endeavours where our initial solutions have progressed, with modification and refinement, through to the point of proving benefit to not just our community but the global community,” he said.
Professor Young also thanked his mentors, the Flinders campus including the University and hospitals in the southern region, his wife Joan and his colleagues, students and teams “that construct the solutions facing society”.
Science Minister Grace Portolesi described Professor Young as a “scientific leader”.
“His work as a teacher, mentor and researcher reflects the outstanding quality of our many scientists who make a difference in areas that are vital to our social and economic prosperity,” Ms Portolesi said.
A further nine awards, which included a total of $80,000 to reward recipients, were presented to high achieving early-career researchers, including recent PhD awardees, as well as science professionals already making their mark in industry.