Dr Rios was awarded the $25,000 prize for developing a new three-dimensional imaging technique that allows scientists to visualise entire breast tissues down to a single-cell level.
The awards, established in 2011 by the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology, recognise and reward Australia’s most creative and innovative young scientists.
Dr Rios said her technique provided an unprecedented view of the breast and had produced surprising insights into the normal development of the mammary gland. “Within the scope of breast cancer, the appeal of this powerful 3D imaging technique is to screen in close detail large areas of breast tissue to detect any abnormal cell behaviour that could lead to breast cancer,” Dr Rios said.
“My great hope is to unravel unexpected cancerous traits that could be exploited in the development of new therapeutic strategies. With PhD student Caleb Dawson we have developed a display that can be viewed with 3D glasses to comprehend the real 3D nature of these tissues. In displaying data in such a visual way, we can engage people from the community into our common quest for improved women’s health.”
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