ANU researcher named among top PhD candidates

A researcher from The Australian National University (ANU) whose work could help hundreds of millions of children worldwide has been recognised as part of the inaugural CSL Florey Next Generation Award.

Dr Naomi Clarke was chosen as a finalist for her work on eradicating intestinal worms. Her research has shown more can be done to reduce infection rates.

“While it’s rare that children die from intestinal worm infections, it can affect their physical growth, intellectual development and prospects for life,” Dr Clarke said.

“We hope our research findings will be incorporated into World Health Organization guidelines for controlling intestinal worms. We want these children to be able to reach their full potential.”

Dr Clarke says current medication programs involve treating children with deworming tablets every six to 12 months, because infections keep coming back.

Her research, which involved field work in East Timor, found infection prevention is more effective when it’s expanded to include everyone in the community, including adults.

The CSL Florey Next Generation Award is a new award recognising a current PhD candidate who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and potential in biomedical sciences, health and medical research.

It’s presented by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS), to encourage the field’s rising stars.

Dr Clarke was one of three finalists selected from more than 90 applications.

“I am delighted that the importance of our research into intestinal worms has been recognised in this way, and for the opportunity to improve the visibility of our research,” Dr Clarke said.

The finalists were acknowledged at the annual Association of Australian Medical Research Institute gala dinner at Parliament House in Canberra.

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