Dr Aung Ko Win from the University of Melbourne, has been awarded the prestigious 2013 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research for his groundbreaking work on colorectal cancer.

Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher, representing the Premier of Victoria Denis Napthine, awarded Dr Aung Ko Win, the top prize from a field of highly talented, young, up-and-coming Victorian health and medical researchers. The Premier’s Award recognises achievement, celebrates creativity and acknowledges excellence across all fields of health or medical research.

Dr Win has made considerable breakthroughs towards developing a new genetically-based model for colorectal cancer risk prediction.

“Colorectal cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia. With around one in 20 Australians diagnosed with the disease at some stage in their life,,this cancer accounts for the second highest number of cancer-related deaths in Australia,” said Dr Win.

“Early detection of the cancer, when it is at an early and more confined stage, radically increases chances of survival and decreases treatment costs. This discovery of applying a genetically-based prediction model will greatly assist practitioners in identifying people most at risk of developing the disease, as well as help with the discovery of new risk factors associated with the disease.”

Dr Win conducted his PhD research at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic Epidemiology) at the University of Melbourne and has worked closely with the Cancer Council of Victoria.

Dr Win’s collaborators, Professor John Hopper and Associate Professor Mark Jenkins, his principal supervisor, have praised Dr Win and acknowledged his hard work and determination to make an impact on cancer research.

“We are proud to have Dr Win in our research team and we believe this award recognises his contribution to research. His work brings great credit to the research efforts of the University of Melbourne,” Professor Hopper said.
The Victorian Coalition Government and the Australian Society for Medical Research present the Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research each year during Medical Research Week.