News & Events July 29, 2021
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An initiative for community science education and a biomedical engineering PhD student at the Perkins are finalists for the WA Premier’s 2021 Science Awards.

The WA Premier’s Science Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding scientific research and engagement taking place in Western Australia. The Perkins is committed to raising awareness of medical research, encouraging next generation scientists, as well as discovering breakthroughs in science to find better treatments for the diseases that most affect our families.

Based in the Lotterywest BioDiscovery Centre at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, the “Enthusiasm for BioDiscovery in Young Minds” program was nominated for the Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year. This recognises an initiative that has made an outstanding contribution to community awareness, interest and/or participation in science in WA.

The BioDiscovery Centre programs offer an experience that allows members of the public to use a purpose-built, fully-functioning teaching laboratory within a medical research facility and is the only one of its kind in Australia.

With classes for high school students, specialist programs for gifted students and school holiday activities, as well as ‘Tour & Talk’, ‘Guest Speaker’ and ‘Live in the Lab’ programs for community groups, the BioDiscovery Centre helps cultivate a passion for science and an understanding of how medical research impacts us all. Sessions are conducted by medical researchers and university science undergraduates making the BioDiscovery Centre a landmark community education program in WA.

In the category for Exxon Mobil Student Scientist of the Year, Nikhilesh Bappoo, a biomedical engineer PhD at the Perkins/UWA Vascular Engineering Lab (VascLab) is one of two UWA finalists amongst others. This category is awarded to an outstanding postgraduate student who has demonstrated a commitment to science at an early stage and shows great promise in reaching the highest levels of excellence.

Nik is a biomedical engineer specialising in vascular research and medical devices with a vision to leverage medical research and technological innovation to modernise and improve the quality, delivery and equity of global health care.

Additionally, Nik is co-founder and CTO of VeinTech Australia, a medical device company aiming to improve patient and physician experience in vascular access practices and is a New Industries Fund WA Innovator of the Year finalist in two award categories – Wesfarmers ‘Wellbeing’ and WA Business News ‘Great for the State’ – which will be announced in November.

The winners of the WA Premier’s Science Awards will be announced on August 16 during National Science Week, Australia’s largest annual science celebration. Read more in Fior Reports, or WA Premier’s Science Awards official page.

At the Perkins, we bring the best and brightest minds together to collaborate and share knowledge at all stages of a scientific career — from the early stages of STEM education, through to supporting new scientists and early-to-mid career researchers, as well as those in the community who are simply interested to get involved in the medical research experience.

Lotterywest BioDiscovery Centre – live in the lab experience (community groups) – also runs programs for high school students.

Nikhilesh Bappoo, a biomedical engineer PhD at the Perkins.