UMMS postdoc is Young Australian of the Year finalist

By Ellie Castano

UMass Medical School Communications

January 31, 2014

Clare Smith, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Christopher M. Sassetti, PhD, associate professor of microbiology & physiological systems, was named a finalist for the 2014 Young Australian of the Year award. She was recognized for her efforts to help eradicate malaria, specifically her discovery of a new anti-malarial compound that may avoid the rapid development of resistance common to the current generation of drugs.

Dr. Smith earned her PhD from Menzies Research Institute of the University of Tasmania, where she used “genetic and pharmacological techniques to investigate the role of host enzymes in malarial infection,” according to the Board of the National Australia Day Council, which selects the recipients. Smith represented the state of Tasmania as their Young Australian of the Year and was among 31 finalists selected from 3,000 nominations for the national award.

"The finalists are an extraordinary group of Australians who represent their states and territory with distinction and who show us all what is possible in our country," said Adam Gilchrist, chair of the National Australia Day Council.

The awards are presented as part of the National Australia Day annual celebration.