Researcher scoops highest award at ANSTO

Great minds: 2017 Sustained Contribution to ANSTO Award winner Michael Druce (centre) with former winners of the prestigious award David Cohen (left) and Richard Garrett. Picture: Supplied
Great minds: 2017 Sustained Contribution to ANSTO Award winner Michael Druce (centre) with former winners of the prestigious award David Cohen (left) and Richard Garrett. Picture: Supplied

Researcher Michael Druce, who led the development of a nuclear medicine called Mo-99, has received the highest honour at ANSTO’s annual awards dinner.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) conducts research into nuclear science and technology and is based at Lucas Heights.

ANSTO held its annual awards dinner recently at Tradies Gymea. The highest award on the night went to Mr Druce – the Sustained Contribution to ANSTO Award.

Mr Druce has played a key role in the advancement and manufacturing of Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), which helps millions of people across the world achieve better health outcomes.

Mo-99 is used in many nuclear medicine procedures to diagnose diseases such as heart disease and cancer and to diagnose skeletal injuries.

ANSTO chief executive Adi Paterson said it was a privilege to work among such a talented cohort of individuals such as Mr Druce and his colleagues.

“You may not realise it but the work of people like Michael Druce has helped to ensure nuclear medicine is available to all Australians, saving many lives over his 37-year career at ANSTO,” Dr Paterson said.

“Michael’s unfortunately not a household name but he’s touched the lives of roughly one in two Australians who have benefited from a nuclear medicine procedure at some point in their lives.

“Michael was also recently presented the inaugural international award on research reactor networks and nuclear medicine at the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia in October.”

  • Other award winners included Jessica Veliscek-Carolan (ANSTO Early Career Award), Joseph Bevitt (Excellence in Science Communication and Outreach Award), and a group from ANSTO which won the George Collins Award for Innovation.

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