Alex Tang nominated for Premier’s Science Prize

Dr Alex Tang, a postdoctoral scientist in the Brain Plasticity Research group at UWA and Perron Institute, is a finalist in the Premier’s Science Awards in the Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year category.

Twenty-two of Western Australia’s outstanding scientists have been recognised for their achievements in five award categories.

Premier Mark McGowan said: “The Premier’s Science Awards program is a key initiative in the Western Australian Government’s efforts to raise the profile of science in the State.”

“Congratulations to the finalists and to everyone dedicated to improving our lives through research.” 

Science Minister Roger Cook said: “The Premier’s Science Awards are an opportunity to showcase the incredible work of Western Australia’s researchers.” 

Dr Tang leads a research team that seeks to develop novel treatments to promote ‘healthy brain ageing’ for aging patients and those with brain injuries. His research has investigated how brain stimulation can be used to promote neuroplasticity in health and in disease management.  

A key achievement has been the development of novel brain stimulation devices to study and alter the brain in an experimental setting. These are now used in laboratories in Australia, New Zealand, France and the USA. 

Another important achievement has been the development of critical brain stimulation safety data that is being adopted in clinical practice worldwide.  

Dr Tang is a passionate science communicator and since 2017, has been one of the three international tutors for the Manai Institute of Science and Technology (Tokyo), an outreach program for high school students.  

In 2020, he received grants from the Raine Medical Research Foundation and Neurotrauma Research Program via UWA, a WA Department of Health New Investigator award at the Combined Biological Sciences Meeting, and the Perron Institute Aspire Award presented by Business Events Perth. 

Earlier this year, Dr Tang was one of four finalists in the Young Leadership category of the 7News WA Young Achiever Awards.  

Dr Tang is growing his research team as part of the Brain Plasticity Research group led by MSWA Senior Research Fellow Associate Professor Jenny Rodger. Dr Tang completed his PhD in 2017, supervised by A/Professor Rodger in collaboration with the University of Tasmania and Harvard University. 

Dr Tang said he was proud to have been nominated as a finalist in the Premier’s Science Awards. 

“The other finalists are very accomplished and are working on cutting edge projects, so to be nominated alongside them and to represent WA neuroscience is an honour.  

“It’s an individual award, but this nomination is the result of all the years of mentorship A/Professor Rodger has given me and the hard work from my students and post-doc.” 

The Premier’s Science Awards judging panels are chaired by the Chief Scientist of Western Australia, Professor Peter Klinken AC. 

The winner of the Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year receives $10,000. 

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on 16 August at WA Museum Boola Bardip during National Science Week. 

For more information on the Premier’s Science Awards, including the list of finalists, visit http://www.jtsi.wa.gov.au/scienceawards. 

Congratulations and best of luck, Dr Tang. 

Dr Alex Tang, 2020 Perron Institute Aspire Award winner, photo credit: Business Events Perth.