Union President Elect Professor Guy Marks shortlisted for top science prize

Union President Elect Professor Guy Marks has been shortlisted for a top scientific prize for his pioneering work on tuberculosis (TB) screening.

ACT Now for Tuberculosis Control is one of three projects shortlisted for the Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research 2019 and comprises Professor Marks’ pioneering work on the ACT Now for TB Control screening programme in Viet Nam.

There, Professor Marks, of the University of New South Wales, is working with Vietnamese and international colleagues including Professor Greg Fox of University of Sydney Central Clinical School. Together they comprise the ACT Now for TB Control team which is developing scalable interventions that will contribute towards the elimination of tuberculosis as a major health problem in much of the world.

"We have known the cause of tuberculosis since Koch's famous discovery in 1887. We have had most of the tools needed to diagnose TB for over 100 years and the drugs need to effectively cure the disease for over 50 years," Professor Marks told the University of New South Wales media team after news of his shortlisting broke.

“With these tools, we have nearly eliminated it in many countries – including Australia. In my view, it is a scandal that, in 2019, it remains the largest infectious disease killer in the world. I am very excited that our work in Viet Nam is showing a pathway towards ending this scourge."

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are the country’s most comprehensive national science awards. Presented annually in partnership with some of the nation's leading scientific institutions, government organisations, universities and corporations, they recognise and honour excellence across the areas of research & innovation, leadership, science engagement, and school science.

Director and CEO of the Australian Museum, Kim McKay, said “Australian scientists are leading the world in many areas and their research is at the cutting edge of discovery and development.”

Winners will be announced at a gala award dinner at Sydney Town Hall on the evening of Wednesday 28 August.

Watch a short video about ACT Now for TB Control.

Find out more about the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.