Prof Maria Kavallaris won the prestigious NSW Premier’s Award

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Professor Maria Kavallaris, of the Children’s Cancer Institute, won the award for Leadership in Innovation in New South Wales.

She is an internationally recognised authority in cancer biology research and nanomedicine therapeutics. She has made seminal contributions to the understanding of both the actions of anti-cancer agents and how resistance is developed against them.

Her studies have identified how some tumours can grow and spread in the body and she has applied this knowledge to develop effective and less toxic cancer therapies, which is particularly beneficial in treating childhood cancers, where safer therapies are desperately needed.

A founding Director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at UNSW, she has combined her knowledge of cancer with an innovative multidisciplinary approach to develop therapy using nanotechnologies. A recent example is her gene-silencing nanoparticle delivery system targeting pancreatic cancer.