Professor Ian Frazer founded and leads the University of Queensland's Centre for Immunology and cancer research. For 20 years he has been researching the link between papilloma viruses and cancer, seeking ways to treat these viruses in order to reduce the incidence of cancer. Ian has now developed vaccines to prevent and to treat cervical cancer, which affects 500,000 women each year. A vaccine based on his research has shown in worldwide trials to prevent papilloma virus infection and reduce Pap smear abnormalities by 90%. It has the potential to virtually eradicate cervical cancer within a generation.
This must be an alternatista's nightmare: not only an Evil Scientist, but a Vaccine Scientist to boot.
There seems to be a pattern here, last year's Australian of the Year was Dr Fiona Wood.
She has become world renowned for her patented invention of spray on skin for burns victims, a treatment which is continually developing. Where previous techniques of skin culturing required 21 days to produce enough cells to cover major burns, Fiona has reduced that period to five days.
It's good to see real research and science being recognised, but EoR fears it is only a matter of time before some Homeopath is awarded this honour for miraculously curing the entire world with a drop of water and without working up a sweat.
PS: Last year's Local Hero - Metropolitan winner was EoR's favourite priest (admittedly, a very small group), Father Bob.