UWA’s early career science researchers showcased their innovative projects at the 2022 Rising Stars competition, where 21 of UWA’s brightest scientific minds presented their research.

From herbicide resistance, to targeting sleep to optimise outcomes for adolescents with depression, how neural plasticity changes with age or after brain injury, to gene therapies and more, each scientist took the audience on a journey through their research.

Congratulations to the three winners, Dr Alex Tang, Dr Karen Breese and Dr Cameron Evans.

This year’s top prize was awarded to Alex Tang, from UWA’s School of Biological Sciences and Perron Institute, who is an expert in neuroscience.

Having completed his PhD at UWA, Dr Tang moved to Japan to continue his research in brain plasticity. He returned to UWA to establish a cutting-edge neuroscience lab and to teach into the neuroscience program.

Dr Tang investigates how the brain changes and adapts with old age or after brain injury. Using this information, he is developing non-invasive treatments that promote healthy brain ageing or improve brain repair.

“Our research investigates how the brain changes with older age or after a brain injury so we can develop better ways of promoting healthy ageing or rehabilitation,” Dr Tang said.

Dr Tang said winning the 2022 Rising Stars event was incredible and he was happy that he could showcase the work he and his students did.

“The prize money will allow me to provide international training and networking opportunities for my students to enhance their research here at UWA,” he said.

Rising Stars is an annual competition showcasing early career science research projects. Since its inception in 2015, the competition has presented a unique opportunity for early career researchers to present their research impact within a three-minute time frame.

Article and image courtesy UWA.