Australian Museum Eureka Prize finalist

Research News
Published: 
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 1:45pm
Ground-breaking work in infectious diseases has secured MCRI's A/Professor Andrew Steer and his team a place as a finalist in the 2017 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes!

A/Prof Steer has led a series of landmark studies that have achieved astonishing results controlling neglected tropical diseases including scabies in the Pacific region.

The Skin Health Intervention Fiji Trial (SHIFT) and the Azithomycin Ivermectin Mass drug administration (AIM) studies, an MCRI collaboration with The Kirby Institute, the Menzies School of Health Research, the Fiji Ministry of Health and the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health has shown that mass drug administration with the drug ivermectin is a highly effective way to control scabies and related bacterial skin sores.

A/Prof Steer said the study has transformed the global conversation on integrated programs for neglected tropical diseases.

"We need to find a safe, effective means of controlling scabies and skin sores in these countries because the terrible itching leads to infection of the skin by bacteria that can cause potentially deadly diseases of the kidneys, heart and bloodstream, including rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart disease and chronic renal failure," he said.

The winners of the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes will be announced at a gala Award Dinner on Wednesday 30 August.

Established in 1827, the Australian Museum is the nation's first museum and one of its foremost scientific research, educational and cultural institutions. The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes were established in 1990 to reward outstanding achievements in Australian science and science communication.