WAHTN congratulates the recipients who have been named in this year’s 40under40 Awards; Kevin Pfleger; Andrew Whitehouse; Peter Santa Maria and Callum Ormonde were recognised in an awards ceremony held at Crown Perth. Established by Business News in 2002, the 40under40 Awards celebrate the passion, vision and achievements of Western Australia’s finest young business people and the contribution they are making to the future of our great state.
Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger is an internationally-recognised medical researcher at UWA, who is dedicated to improving the lives of those suffering from ill health in the community. He studies how hormones, neurotransmitters and pharmaceuticals work on the cells of our body at the molecular level, in order to develop more effective therapies with fewer side effects. His research is regarded as world-leading and has an enormous potential to change the lives of those suffering from conditions such as chronic kidney disease. Through his discoveries and inventions, and Kevin’s spin-out company Dimerix Limited running Phase 2 clinical trials, that potential is being realised.
Professor Andrew Whitehouse is an internationally renowned UWA medical researcher, who has helped make important discoveries regarding the causes and treatment of autism in children. His research has generated two books and over 150 scholarly publications, which has been supported by over $40 million in research grants. He is a recognised community leader in the disability sector, and has brought diverse groups of stakeholders together to generate new education, employment and recreational initiatives for children with a disability. Professor Whitehouse is also a prolific science communicator, who has made a major contribution to spreading the opportunities that science provides for the community.
Peter Santa Maria
Dr Peter Santa Maria is a scientist and inventor at UWA and an ear, nose and throat surgeon at the Ear Science Institute and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. He has invented multiple patents including a regenerative treatment for the ear drum, and a device that keeps patients warm during surgery. As Director of not-for-profit SPARK Co-Lab Peter has helped numerous WA scientists and doctors bring their medical discoveries to patients. Within six months of launching SPARK Co-Lab, it has already helped teams invent five new medical devices.
Callum Ormonde spent the last few years working in research to determine new ways of targeting cancers without the negative side effects commonly experienced by patients. His research benefits not only medicine but environmental and industrial science. A senior member of the Bionano group in WA, Callum is a mentor for incoming group members. His work has produced new ways of harvesting therapeutic molecules and has attracted attention globally from the financial publication Forbes and Time, who referred to his discovery as “a financial boon to the biotechnology industry.”