Australian National University’s Dr Vini Gautam will represent Australia at the Falling Walls Lab finale in Berlin on 8 November.
After participating in the Australian Falling Walls Lab held on September 12 at the Shine Dome, Canberra, Dr Gautam was awarded second place amongst all the candidates from across Australia and New Zealand. She will now present her research project at the international event.
Dr Gautam’s research involves a team of researchers across the Research Schools of Physics, Engineering and Medical Research at the Australian National University. The team have developed a suitable scaffold to allow brain cells to grow and form predictable circuits, which could lead to the development of prosthetics for the brain.
"The project will provide new insights into the development of neuro-prosthetics which can help the brain recover after damage due to an accident, stroke or degenerative neurological diseases," Dr Gautam said.
The study is the first to show that neural circuits grown on nanowire scaffolds were functional and highly interconnected, opening the potential to apply their scaffold design for neuro-prosthetics.
The Falling Walls Lab, which began in 2011, provides ‘emerging talents, entrepreneurs and innovators a stage to pitch their research work, initiatives or business models to their peers and a distinguished jury from academia and business’. The event is a competition of ideas to improve the world, based on science in the widest sense, with emphasis on the vision of the project, the widespread impact of the science along with an engaging 3 minute pitch-style presentation. The labs have taken place in 50 countries across the globe.
Read more about Dr Gautam's project here
Australian Academy of Science media release here