SCHN researchers awarded Young Tall Poppy Science Award 2021

16 August 2021

Congratulations to Dr Tegan Cheng and Dr Orazio Vittorio for being awarded the 2021 Young Tall Poppy Science Award!

The Tall Poppy Science Award is an initiative of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS), acknowledging excellence in research and commitment to communicating science to a broad audience. The awards are held in each state to celebrate researchers across science, engineering and mathematics. Dr Cheng and Dr Vittorio are among 10 researchers awarded across New South Wales.

Dr Tegan Cheng

Dr Tegan Cheng is currently an NHMRC Emerging Leader Fellow in the School of Health Sciences, University of Sydney and Group Leader of the EPIC Lab, Kids Research at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Dr Cheng’s research focuses on inventing new medical devices for children with nerve, muscle and bone diseases and works closely with clinicians to develop novel solutions to address unmet needs in paediatrics.

Children with these conditions need specially made devices because they are smaller than adults and are still growing. However, child-specific devices are not always available.

I’m feeling grateful and excited to take part in this amazing program and excited to be able to share a love of research and discovery with more people .

Her research consists of 2 main parts, the development of new orthopaedic implants and 3D printing ankle-foot orthoses. These programs involve collaboration with clinicians, engineers, designers and healthcare professionals and use 3D printing to create devices specifically for children.

Learn more about Dr Cheng’s work here

Dr Orazio Vittorio

Dr Orazio Vittorio is a team leader for Metal-Targeted Therapy and Immunology group at the Children’s Cancer Institute and is a senior lecturer and NHMRC Career Development Fellow at the School of Women and Children’s Health at University of New South Wales based at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.

Dr Vittorio’s work has made major contributions to understanding neuroblastoma biology and to developing effective treatments for this and other aggressive childhood cancers. His discovery of the key role copper plays in cancer immune evasion – particularly that high levels of copper block an immune cell’s ability to recognise tumours – is a world-first achievement. His development of anti-cancer therapeutics is also internationally recognised.

I am honoured to be receiving this award and am passionate about improving survival rates in kids with cancers like brain tumours, where we haven’t seen any real improvement in the last 20 years.

Learn more about Dr Vittorio’s work here

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