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Leading Neuroscientist Glenda Halliday Named NSW Scientist of the Year


Internationally acclaimed neuroscientist Professor Glenda Halliday FAA FAHMS from the University of Sydney is the 2022 NSW Scientist of the Year.

Professor Halliday, who will receive a prize of $60,000, was one of 10 exceptional researchers, innovators and educators being honoured at the 2022 Premier’s Prizes for Science & Engineering, held at Government House last night.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said Professor Halliday received the award for her groundbreaking work on neurodegenerative diseases, which has changed the way we diagnose and treat these conditions globally.

“Neurodegenerative diseases touch so many of our lives, often with devastating consequences, and that’s why the impact of Glenda’s work cannot be understated,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The Premier’s Prizes for Science & Engineering are a chance to celebrate the work of the state’s leading science and engineering researchers and recognise their contributions to the economy, environment and wellbeing of people in our State.”

Professor Halliday’s research looks at how the human brain is affected structurally and biochemically by neurodegenerative diseases. Her current focus is on the underlying causes of the non-Alzheimer’s neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Parkinson’s disease and frontotemporal dementia.

“It is incredibly satisfying to know our work is recognised by our peers in this way, even though we feel there is always more work to do,” Professor Halliday said.

“I hope this award will inspire those I am working with and others to find the cures needed in this area of research.”

Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens said the winners reflected the diversity of strengths amongst NSW’s research community.

“We have some of the best scientists, engineers and educators in the world and the NSW Government is committed to supporting them as shown by our record investment in this year’s Budget,” Mr Henskens said.

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said Professor Halliday is not only a world-class researcher but a passionate leader and mentor who is inspiring the next generation of neuroscientists.

“I congratulate all our winners and thank them for their outstanding contributions to science, engineering and education in NSW,” Professor Durrant-Whyte said.

Amber Muir | Premier of NSW | 0447 695 520
Jordan Matthews | Minister Henskens | 0409 317 892

The nine category prize winners, who will each receive $5,000, are:

  • Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry or Physics - Professor Geordie Williamson FRS FAA (The University of Sydney)
  • Excellence in Biological Sciences (Ecological, environmental, agricultural and organismal) - Distinguished Professor Michelle Leishman FRSN (Macquarie University)
  • Excellence in Medical Biological Sciences (Cell and molecular, medical, veterinary and genetics) - Professor Justin Yerbury AM (University of Wollongong)
  • Excellence in Engineering or Information and Communications Technologies - Professor Anna Giacomini PhD BEng MSCivilEng (The University of Newcastle)
  • NSW Early Career Researcher of the Year (Biological Sciences) - Dr Sudarshini Ramanathan BSc (Med) MBBS (Hons) FRACP PhD (The University of Sydney)
  • NSW Early Career Researcher of the Year (Physical Sciences) - Dr Jiao Jiao Li (University of Technology Sydney)
  • Leadership in Innovation in NSW - Professor Luke Wolfenden PhD (The University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Local Health District)
  • Innovation in NSW Public Sector Science and Engineering - Professor David Eldridge (NSW Department of Planning and Environment and UNSW Sydney)
  • Innovation in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics Teaching in NSW - Mr Ian Preston (Murrumbidgee Regional High School)