The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


12 Nov 2018

Professor Katherine Kedzierska awarded Woodward Medal in Science and Technology

University of Melbourne Professor Katherine Kedzierska, Head of Doherty Institute’s Human T cell Laboratory, has been awarded the prestigious Woodward Medal in Science and Technology.

Professor Kedzierska received the award for her groundbreaking work on H7N9 influenza and how the immune system responds to this deadly strain of bird flu.

Her discovery that a subset of immune cells targets a part of the virus common to many strains potentially brings us closer to a universal vaccine for all strains of influenza.

“It’s a great honour to receive the 2018 Woodward Medal and I’m very grateful to the University of Melbourne for the recognition and support of my research,” Professor Kedzierska said.

“The research I received this award for stemmed out of an international collaboration with Fudan University which brought together the immunological expertise in Melbourne and the clinical knowledge in Shanghai to produce a study of much higher impact that could be achieved individually.”

Professor Kedzierska’s research is centred on understanding immunity towards pandemic, seasonal and newly-emerged influenza viruses, specifically in the young, elderly, Indigenous Australians and patients hospitalised with severe influence.

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. 

Usually, one medal is awarded for Science and Technology, and the other for Humanities and Social Sciences. However for only the second time in its 18-year history, the Woodward Medal in Science and Technology was jointly awarded this year, with Professor Geoffrey McFadden of the School of Biosciences also receiving one for his research imto the metabolism of the malaria parasite.  

CLICK HERE to read a Pursuit story about Professor Kedzierska’s fascinating influenza research.