The prestigious Premier's Award for Health and Medical Research (PAHMR) presented on 11 April 2017 celebrated the revolutionary breakthroughs and achievements of four talented Victorian researchers in the early stages of their careers.

Selected by a panel of eminent health and medical researchers, this year's Award recipient, Ms Emma Nolan was recognised for her research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the University of Melbourne.  

Ms Nolan's research analysed breast tissue donated by women with a faulty BRCA1 gene, and was able to pinpoint 'culprit cells' that are likely to be responsible for causing breast tumours.

These findings will lead to new ways to prevent and treat breast cancer in women carrying a faulty BRC1 gene. Ms Nolan has now started a post-doctoral position at the new Francis Crick Institute in London.

Also receiving commendations were Dr Katherine Gibney from Monash University for her research on surveillance and burden of infectious diseases in Australia, Dr Calum Roberts from the Royal Women's Hospital and the University of Melbourne for leading the largest ever international study on High Flow – a non-invasive breathing treatment for premature babies, and Dr Amy Winship from the Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Monash University for her discovery of a protein, or factor that may be a cause of pre-eclampsia and uterine cancer.

The annual Awards are a joint initiative of the Victorian Government and the Australian Society for Medical Research, and builds on the work of the government's A$20 million Healthier Lives, Stronger Economy: Victoria's Health and Medical Research Strategy 2016-2020 supporting the ground-breaking achievements of those who work in the health and medical research sector.

Victoria is recognised internationally as a leading centre for medical research. Home to a network of universities, teaching hospitals, medical research institutes and outstanding life science infrastructure, Victoria's vibrant health goods and service exports industry is worth more than A$2.3 billion to the state's economy each year.