Latest News

Professor Sally Dunwoodie wins 2018 Eureka Award

World renowned scientist, Professor Sally Dunwoodie from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute has been awarded the 2018 UNSW Eureka Prize for Scientific Research.

Responsible for one of Australia’s most significant discoveries in pregnancy research, Professor Dunwoodie has been honoured alongside 15 Australian Museum Eureka Prize winners in the fields of research and innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science.

Awarded the top prize for her research into the genetic and environmental causes of birth defects, Professor Dunwoodie and her laboratory have discovered in mice the potential of vitamin B3 to treat a molecular deficiency causing miscarriages and complex birth defects.

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute scientists have found that a deficiency in a vital molecule, known as NAD, can prevent a baby’s organs from developing correctly in the womb. They also discovered that boosting levels of vitamin B3 during pregnancy prevented NAD deficiency and also prevented recurrent miscarriages and birth defects from occurring, in mice.

Considered Australia’s leading science awards, the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes shine a light on the astounding quality, and life changing discoveries being made in the country. 

“I’m extremely honoured to be nominated alongside some of Australia’s most respected researchers across such a diverse range of scientific disciplines. To be one of ten women who have been recognised this year is an achievement I’m very grateful for,” explained Professor Dunwoodie.  

This landmark study which could potentially change the way some pregnant women are cared for is testament to 12 years of dedicated research from a multidisciplinary team of researchers.

 “I’m so proud of what we have discovered here at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, our team worked very hard to get to this point. Even though it hasn’t always been easy, they never gave up and that’s what made this discovery possible,” added Professor Dunwoodie.  

Double pregnancy discovery