2021 Burnet Prize winners

2021 Burnet Prize winners

Illuminate newsletter header, Summer 21/22
December 2021

Dr Najoua Laloui
Dr Najoua Lalaoui was involved in the identification of 
a new human autoinflammatory disease.

​Congratulations to Dr Najoua Lalaoui and Dr Shalin Naik, who have been jointly awarded the 2021 Burnet Prize, awarded annually by WEHI to early-career scientists who have produced pioneering research. 

Dr Lalaoui spearheaded research that identified a new human autoinflammatory disease, called CRIA syndrome, with US collaborators.

They showed CRIA syndrome was caused by a mutation in RIPK1, a critical component of the cell death pathway. It suggests that RIPK1 inhibitors could have potential as a focused, ‘precision medicine’ approach to treating patients with some autoinflammatory diseases. 

Dr Naik’s work helped to answer a 50-year-old question about why each single stem cell is unique in the immune cell type and quantity it makes. In addition to improving our understanding of how the body produces these cells to fight cancer and infection, the finding has the potential to improve immunotherapy and lead to more personalised cancer treatments.

Super Content: 
Two men holding award trophies

Professor Jacques Miller and Professor Max Cooper were join receipients of a 2019 Lasker Award - America's highest honour in medical research - for their discoveries in immunology

Dr Jeff Babon in the lab

Structural biologist Dr Jeff Babon was the 2012 Burnet Prize recipient.