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Professor wins 2018 Premier’s Prize for Science and Engineering

World-leading developmental cardiologist and Co-Deputy Director of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Professor Richard Harvey, has been awarded the 2018 NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Medical Biological Sciences.

Professor Harvey was one of ten leading researchers, innovators and teachers being recognised at this year’s NSW Premier’s Prizes for Science & Engineering event at Government House. 

“It is surely one of the greatest honours to be recognised by one’s peers,” Professor Harvey said.

“I’m deeply indebted to my wonderful colleagues who have been the hands and minds behind our work, and my co-journeymen and women. I must also acknowledge the Victor Chang Institute and UNSW for their trust and support, and for all those who have a vision of the power of science for good.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says this year’s prizes reflect the important contribution scientists and engineers make to our daily lives.

“The NSW Government is committed to providing our finest scientists and engineers with the support they need to come up with ingenious solutions to our state’s real-world challenges,” said Ms Berejiklian.

Professor Harvey’s team is responsible for a recent significant breakthrough in understanding how the pumping chambers of the heart are formed during fetal development. The study, which was led by Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow Gonzalo del Monte Nieto, resolved one of the unsolved mysteries in the field, shedding new light on heart defects in babies.

“This discovery provides invaluable information about heart development and is vital for understanding what goes wrong in congenital heart disease,” explains Professor Harvey.

“In the longer-term it could also provide insights into how we might coax the human heart to regenerate, which is the holy grail for heart researchers and cardiologists alike.”

This is the second consecutive year a Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute researcher has been honoured for their contributions to the field of science. Just last year, Professor Sally Dunwoodie was awarded a NSW Premier’s Prize for her research into the genetic and environmental causes of birth defects. 

Developmental & stem cell biology Laboratory

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