Top Award to IMB Researcher

5 May 2005

The internationally recognised achievements of Associate Professor Jennifer Martin in the fields of structural biology and protein crystallography have been further acknowledged with the awarding of the prestigious Roche Medal.

Bestowed by one of Australia's premier science bodies, the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Roche Medal is presented to an Australian biochemist or molecular biologist in recognition of significant contributions in the field.

Associate Professor Martin, from the University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) said she was surprised and delighted with the award.

"The Roche Medal is unexpected but appreciated, science is about discovering how things work so any recognition, particularly from your peers, is very special," she said.

"I have been very fortunate to work and collaborate with exceptional scientists who have all had a great influence on my research.

"In particular I would like to pay tribute to Queensland's Chief Scientist, Professor Peter Andrews, who supervised my Masters research and encouraged me to return to Australia to establish my own laboratory at the University of Queensland. Peter is an inspirational teacher, a great mentor and a wonderful scientist.

"As a result I am very fortunate to be involved in the IMB, which was founded by Peter Andrews and current director John Mattick in 2000. The Institute's outstanding facilities, equipment and support have enabled me to pursue my research interests further."

In congratulating Associate Professor Martin, Professor Mattick said Jenny's career was characterised by sustained excellence.

"Jennifer's work in the field of protein folding and protein interactions has resulted in publications in highly respected journals such as Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science," he said.

"Jennifer has also made significant contributions to Australia's biotechnology industry through her involvement in research that led to the biotech spin-off company Xenome, and through pioneering developments in high throughput crystallography in Australia.

"She is a member of the National Scientific Advisory Committee to the Australian Synchrotron and remains actively involved in Angstrom Art, an IMB initiative to communicate science to the general public.

"Jennifer joins Professors David Hume and Brandon Wainwright as other IMB members to receive the Roche Medal," he said.

As part of the award Jennifer will present the Roche Lecture at the ASBMB Conference later in the year. The ASBMB aims to advance Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Australia, facilitating research and education, and interfacing with business and the community.