UQ celebrates rising stars at Women in Technology awards

15 Sep 2014

Two University of Queensland early-career researchers have been recognised by their peers for their promising medical and technology research at the 17th annual Women in Technology (WiT) awards ceremony.

Dr Irina Vetter, from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and School of Pharmacy, won the WiT Rising Star Award for her research to understand the causes of pain and develop new treatments for the one in five Australians living with chronic pain.

“Pain is something we have all experienced, and usually we expect this pain will go away – but this isn’t the case for those living with chronic pain,” she said.

“Chronic pain also has a huge impact on the community, and together with my colleagues in IMB’s Centre for Pain Research, we are working to put it on the national health agenda,” she said.

Dr Helen Huang, from UQ’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, won the WiT Infotech Research Award for her contribution in the field of big data management and analysis.

“With the rapid population growth of social websites, we are now having vast amounts of social media data that can be used for analysing and predicting real-world events,” Dr Huang said.

“The predictions provide an opportunity of timely response to emergencies such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters, as well as prevention of crime, security breaches and the like.”

“This award is a fantastic recognition of my work and such a wonderful encouragement that my work is important for our future society.”

The award winners each received a $1000 prize to support their research.

WiT is one of Queensland's most respected and active technology industry associations and a peak body for women in the technology and life sciences sectors in Queensland.

Media: Gemma Ward, IMB Communications Manager, +61 7 3346 2134, g.ward1@uq.edu.au or EAIT Faculty Communication Officer Madelene Flanagan, +61 7 3365 8525, m.flanagan@uq.edu.au.