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NCI congratulates new Academy of Science Fellows

Professor Susan Scott. Photo: Academy of Science

Professor Susan Scott. Photo: Academy of Science

Two users of NCI have been announced as new Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science. Professors Susan Scott and Simon Foote, both from The Australian National University, have been recognised for ground breaking scientific work during their careers.

Professor Susan Scott‘s work focuses on gravitational waves and general relativity, and is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration that recently announced the first direct measurement of a gravitational wave.

This work has involved understanding background noise at a variety of detectors, including the Gravitational Wave Facility at the ANU. Professor Scott was also part of the first Australian led search for gravitational waves, looking at the neutron star Cassiopeia A in our Galaxy.

She says “Both of these programs were important stepping stones in the final years leading to the first direct detection of gravitational waves on 14 September 2015.”

Professor Simon Foote. Photo: Academy of Science

Professor Simon Foote. Photo: Academy of Science

Professor Simon Foote is the Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research. He was involved in the first attempts to map the human genome and more recently has been looking at the genetics of diseases that affect isolated and less affluent populations, such as malaria.

He has found a new function for platelet cells in the blood, being part of the innate immune response to malaria. This work is now helping him and his team to design drugs that work inside the human host of the disease, meaning that the mosquito carriers cannot develop resistance to the treatment as easily.

His group has also used NCI to analyse whole genome sequences from Indigenous Australians looking for the molecular basis of the kidney disease that is so common in their communities.

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