Elette Engels, one of our PhD students from the Centre for Medical Radiation Physics (CMRP), was awarded the 2017 AIP Postgraduate Excellence Medal at the Postgraduate Awards Day held at UNSW. It is the first time that the UOW nominee has been awarded this medal, which includes one nomination from each of the eight academic institutions from NSW and ACT with postgraduate physics programs. The judges commented they were particularly impressed by the multidisciplinary nature of her research and the depth of her knowledge in all of these areas.

Her PhD research topic talk was entitled “New Advances in Nanoparticle-Enhanced, Image-Guided Microbeam Radiation Therapy”. This exciting and important research is part of an ongoing 15 year CMRP research program and invited international consortium for the development of a new radiation oncology modality for the treatment of otherwise untreatable brain cancers. The goal is to ultimately translate this technique into clinical practice through the CMRP Targeted Nano-Therapy (TNT) Research Theme together with radiation oncology clinicians from IHMRI. Elette is soon to carry out our first in vivo preclinical experiments at the Australian and European Synchrotron facilities in 2018 after her successful in vitro work that was recently published.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank Elette’s co-supervisors and mentors including Dr Moeava Tehei, Dr Susanna Guatelli, Dr Stephanie Corde (Prince of Wales hospital), Associate Professor Konstantin Konstantinov (ISEM), Associate Professor Michael Lerch, Sarah Toole and Distinguished Professor Anatoly Rozenfeld.

This award is very prestigious, being supported and judged by the Australian Institute of Physics (NSW branch), The Royal Society of NSW and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. It also builds on her other awards and achievements this year including the EIS Three Minute Thesis Award.

A big congratulations to Elette!