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03 Sep 2019

Associate Professor Laura Mackay awarded Woodward Medal in Science and Technology

University of Melbourne Associate Professor Laura Mackay, a laboratory head at the Doherty Institute, has received the 2019 Woodward Medal in Science and Technology.

Associate Professor Mackay received the prestigious award for her publications on how memory T cells in tissue enhance local immune responses.

This research challenged the belief that T cells in the blood are solely responsible for immune protection, and revealed a potential new target for vaccines.

Associate Professor Mackay was incredibly honoured to be named the recipient for this year’s award.

“It’s a privilege to be named alongside previous Woodward Medallists, who are all outstanding researchers in their fields,” Associate Professor Mackay said.

“The goal of my research program is to identify ways to augment tissue-resident T cell formation and function to provide enhanced local immunity, and to develop new approaches to utilise tissue-resident T cells for next generation vaccines.”

The Woodward Medals honour former University of Melbourne Chancellor Sir Edward Woodward AC OBE QC and Lady Lois Woodward AM, both graduates of the University who made professional and personal contributions in areas as wide-ranging as law, social justice, education, health and Indigenous affairs. In their memory, the Medals support and reward research excellence – a prerequisite for translation and impact. The medals are awarded to members of University of Melbourne staff for research published in the past five years. 

Along with the medal, Associate Professor Mackay received a cash prize of $10,000.

In addition to the Woodward medal, Associate Professor Mackay recently won the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher.