L’Oréal-UNESCO Fellowship recognises ground-breaking research
The University of Adelaide’s Dr Jiawen Li has today, Sunday, 21 November 2021, been named as a L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellow for her work in developing a medical device that diagnoses heart problems.
“Accurate diagnosis of heart problems is vital as they affect millions of people each year and the effects can be devastating,” said Dr Li from the University of Adelaide’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) and the leader of the intravascular imaging research program within the Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS).
“More than 20 million people worldwide experience acute coronary syndrome (e.g., heart attack). It often occurs when a blood vessel supplying the heart is suddenly blocked due to high-risk plaques.”
The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program recognises the achievements of exceptional female scientists at the early stages of their careers and awards them with a Fellowship to help further their research. Dr Li is one of only four women to receive this prestigious award in 2021.
“I enjoy working at the interface between engineering and medicine. I believe that the convergence of knowledge via interdisciplinary research is key to addressing unmet needs and improving clinical outcomes.”Dr Jiawen Li
Cardiologists do not currently have the tools to diagnose high-risk patients before plaques – fats, cholesterol and other substances that build up in arteries – become life-threatening. Dr Li is leading an internationally significant project to create a device for reliable detection of high-risk plaques in patients, which will be achieved by using novel 3D-printed micro-optics. Use of these devices will eventually lead to a better understanding of heart disease, and more accurate diagnosis and optimised intervention for high-risk plaques.
From an early age she was encouraged by her family to become a researcher inventing new medical devices to help doctors and patients.
“I enjoy working at the interface between engineering and medicine. I believe that the convergence of knowledge via interdisciplinary research is key to addressing unmet needs and improving clinical outcomes,” said Dr Li.
Professor Anton Middelberg is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Adelaide.
“I congratulate Dr Li for her Fellowship which recognises her ground-breaking work that will benefit millions of people world-wide,” he said.
“Dr Li’s achievements in the field of biomedical engineering stand out in a community of some of the world’s leading scientists who work at the University of Adelaide, one of Australia’s most research intensive institutions.”
Professor Nelson Tansu is the Head of the University of Adelaide’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
“The L’Oréal Fellowship acknowledges the importance of Dr Li’s innovative approach to solving problems and her qualities in leading a world-class research team in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering,” he said.
“In the early stages of her career, Dr Li is already forging a place as one of the world’s leading researchers in biomedical engineering.”
Dr Li was recently awarded Fellowships by the National Heart Foundation and National Health and Medical Research Council.
The University of Adelaide is ranked 66th in the world in the 2022 US News rankings of the Best Global Universities, with the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering ranked 16th in the world.
The L’Oréal Corporate Foundation and UNESCO are committed to increasing the number of women working in scientific research. Only 28 per cent of researchers are women with less than 20 per cent making up the most senior leadership positions.
Crispin Savage, Senior Media and Communications Officer, University of Adelaide. Mobile: +61(0)481 912 465, Email: email@example.com