In recognition of her contribution to the field, The University of Queensland PhD student Elizabeth Mason - and member of Stem Cells Australia - has been awarded the 2014 Donald Tugby Prize in Nanotechnology.
Lizzi is a doctoral student in systems biology of human stem cells at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. She conducts systems biology research to test the hypothesis that variance within biological populations describes an important, but until now hidden predictor of cellular behaviour.
She has developed new approaches with the goal of identifying genetic elements that stabilize how a cell acts (ie its phenotype), and what pushes a cell to change how it acts. In 2014 Lizzi published, together with colleagues, a highly regarded paper that identified specific networks of genes that regulate stem cell behaviour and may aid in controlling stem cell fate.
Lizzi is supervised by Associate Professor Christine Wells (University of Glasgow and the University of Queensland), stem cell biologists Professors Martin Pera (University of Melbourne) and Ernst Wolvetang (University of Queensland), biostatistician Assistant Professor Jessica Mar (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA) and computational biologist Professor John Quackenbush (Harvard University, USA).
Dr Donald Tugby is an alumnus and major supporter of The University of Queensland and taught anthropology at the University from 1958 to 1986. He supports prizes in biomedical sciences, archaeology, anthropology, psychology of peace, art history and musicology, nanotechnology, veterinary science, music performance and earth science, collectively known as the “Donald Tugby Renaissance Prize Endowment”, these prizes are awarded annually for excellence in education and research in the nominated fields.