WA researcher wins science prize

25/11/2020 - 13:00

Telethon Kids Institute’s Asha Bowen has been named as the Emerging Leader in Science at the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.

Asha Bowen's research focuses on reducing the heavy burden of skin sores for Aboriginal children living in remote areas of Australia. Photo: Telethon Kids Institute

Telethon Kids Institute’s Asha Bowen has been named as the Emerging Leader in Science at the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.

Dr Bowen, who is head of head of skin health at the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases and an infectious disease paediatrician at Perth Children’s Hospital, was recognised for her leadership qualities and patient care expertise in new skin research.

Her research focuses on reducing the heavy burden of skin sores for Aboriginal children living in remote areas of Australia.

She was the only WA scientist recognised at the national awards.

Dr Bowen said the prize represented not just her own efforts, but the contributions made by the skin health team at Telethon Kids Institute in partnership with communities and organisations involved in her research.

“It is a privilege to work together with Aboriginal people to design and implement a research agenda that will address some of the most challenging health issues for kids, including the role skin sores play in leading to serious, life-threatening illnesses such as rheumatic heart disease,” she said.

Telethon Kids Institute deputy director Aboriginal health Glenn Pearson applauded Dr Bowen’s commitment to working closely with indigenous partners to empower, engage and build capacity.

“[Dr] Bowen regularly visits remote Aboriginal communities to learn from elders and families how best to conduct research with them and is an exemplar role model in demonstrating the importance of developing culturally appropriate research practices,” Mr Pearson said.

Telethon Kid Institute director Jonathan Carapetis mentored Dr Bowen for over 10 years, and said it was a pleasure to supervise someone so passionate about science and making a meaningful difference to the lives of communities.

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