Community offers critical support for young researchers
The Illawarra community has raised funds to support local young University of Wollongong researchers, all inspired by the late Bill Wheeler.
The annual Bill Wheeler Award offers $2,000 of community raised funds to a University of Wollongong PhD student engaged in a Medical Bionics project of significance to the larger community.
Presented at the annual Bill Wheeler Symposium on August 6, the 2012 Award was won twenty six year old UOW PhD student Willo Grosse, who works in the world renowned ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science Bionics program on Innovation Campus.
“It’s important for us researchers to remember that what we do is for the community,” said Willo.
“The Bill Wheeler Award reminds us of this, and gives as extra incentive to deliver results.”
Willo plans to use the funds to travel to Hanyang University in Korea to further develop her project which focuses on controlled release of anti-epileptic drugs through brain implants, providing relief to the 30% of Epilepsy sufferers who are unable to be treated with conventional methods.
Since its inception in 2009, the Bill Wheeler Award and Bill Wheeler Symposium has developed into a popular community event, each year featuring talks by leading Australian scientists and clinicians.
Bill Wheeler was a very active member of the Illawarra community who took a keen interest in new Bionics research at the University of Wollongong. Sadly, Bill passed away in 2007, however his passion for helping the community continues with the Bill Wheeler Award, assisting young researchers such as Willo to develop real solutions for the community.
In addition to the presentation of the award, the Bill Wheeler Symposium featured Professors Mark Cook and Peter Choong, leading clinicians from St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne as well as bi-lateral Cochlear recipient Sue Young.
For more information on donating to the Bill Wheeler Award fund, please contact email Karla Peacock at UOW or phone 02 4221 3127.
PIctured at top from left: Prof Peter Choong, Sue Young, Lexie Wheeler, Prof Mark Cook, Willo Grosse, Prof Gordon Wallace