Minghao Zheng a WA Innovator of the Year finalist

Professor Minghao Zheng (pictured), head of Brain and Bone Research at the Perron Institute and Winthrop Professor of Orthopaedic Research at The University of Western Australia, is a finalist in the 2019 WA Innovator of the Year awards.

His research exploring the potential use of nacre (mother of pearl) as a bone graft substitute has been selected in the Rio Tinto Emerging Innovation Category.

The project title is: “Converting Broome nacre (pearl) to synthetic bone material for human implant”.

The WA Innovator of the Year program is an initiative funded under the State Government’s New Industries Fund. Since its inception in 2006, it has showcased innovative and entrepreneurial individuals and businesses at the emerging or growth phase of development.

Award winners must demonstrate an economic, social or environmental benefit for the State.

Perron Institute Director, Professor Steve Wilton and institute Director of Research, Professor Sue Fletcher, now based at Murdoch University, were awarded the top prize in 2012 for their novel treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2016.

This year, Rio Tinto is the program’s primary sponsor. There are eight finalists across the WA Innovator of the Year’s Rio Tinto Emerging Innovation category and the Rio Tinto Growth category. These finalists are in the running to be crowned the WA Innovator of the Year – Overall Winner. In addition, there are 16 finalists for the program’s Platinum Awards.

Winners will be announced at the program’s awards ceremony on 6 November.