Queensland Institute of Medical Research scientist Dr Motoko Koyama has been awarded the Research Australia Discovery Award 2012.
The prestigious award is in recognition of Dr Koyama’s work in helping bone marrow transplant patients.
Her research proved that a type of white blood cell – dendritic cells – actually protected transplant patients from graft-versus-host disease, rather than causing the disease, as previously believed.
QIMR Senior Scientist Professor Geoff Hill said Dr Koyama’s work had opened the door for dendritic cells to be used to improve the outcomes for the 3000 patients receiving bone marrow transplants each year.
“This was unique and paradigm shifting work, outlining the way in which rejection responses are induced after transplantation,” Professor Hill said.
“Motoko’s innovative preclinical studies have led to exciting and new translational clinical studies.”
Dr Koyama thanked Research Australia.
“I’m very grateful to receive this award and would also like to mention the support and help of my supervisor, Geoff Hill, and my colleagues in the laboratory,” Dr Koyama said.
“I’m also grateful to QIMR, which provides the right environment and support to nurture medical research.”
Dr Koyama has worked in QIMR’s Bone Marrow Transplant Laboratory at QIMR for three years.
The Research Australia Awards are an annual event recognising and celebrating achievement across health and medical research.