PhD research into scabies mite wins national award 


A research project at Charles Darwin University has been recognised among the nation’s best innovations to extend and enhance human life.

CDU PhD candidate, Wajahat Mahmood was awarded the AusBiotech-GSK Student Excellence Award for the Northern Territory for his research into “characterisation of aspartic protease from scabies mite”.

Wajahat’s research is expected to contribute to developing better therapies for a disease that is highly prevalent in Australia and worldwide.

His research topic was inspired by his experience working for a vaccine company based in Pakistan.

The CEO of AusBiotech, Dr Anna Lavelle, and Head of R&D Alliances Australia and New Zealand, GSK, Dr Ashley Bates presented the awards to the students.

“Student research is a critical factor in the life cycle that takes discoveries through the commercialisation process to reach and benefit the community,” Dr Lavelle said.

“The student awards recognise Australia’s up and coming researchers and bio-innovators allowing us to support the innovation work that will be the basis of Australia’s biotechnology industry in the future.”

The award program aims to encourage promising researchers who are working on innovations to extend and enhance life, including medicines, diagnostics and medical devices as well as solutions to address food shortages and climate change.