Peter Mac's Professor Sherene Loi is one of two winners of this year's prestigious Jian Zhou Medal from the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS).
The medal is awarded annually to up to two individuals who are making an impact in translational medical science, honouring cervical cancer vaccine co-inventor Professor Jian Zhou.
Medical oncologist Professor Loi challenged the dogma that immunotherapy was not possible with breast cancer and led a series of treatment trials that are already changing the lives of her patients.
She was also the first to show that immune cell infiltration of breast tumour tissue strongly predicts improved survival in some types of breast cancer, and led the development and standardisation of this unique biomarker – to where it is now routine in the pathology work-up of breast cancers.
“I am very honoured and grateful to be recognised by AAHMS and awarded this medal,” Professor Loi said.
“I am very glad that my research has been recognised nationally, in that it has contributed to better outcomes for breast cancer patients and facilitated development of immunotherapy approaches internationally.
“Ultimately, I also hope my research contributes to new and better therapies and improved individualisation of the right treatment for each breast cancer patients.”
The other recipient was immunologist Professor Di Yu from The University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute for his work in autoimmune and infectious diseases.
We're so proud of Sherene's innovative and paradigm-changing research on immunotherapy in breast cancer," says Peter Mac's Executive Director Cancer Research Professor Ricky Johnstone.
"And the impact her work has already had in improving outcomes for our patients."