Kirby Institute Scientist Wins Eureka Prize

Associate Professor David Wilson from the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales has been awarded the 2013 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science for his use of sophisticated scientific techniques to understand the spread of HIV/AIDS and provide ongoing leadership and evidence-based advice to governments and agencies seeking to respond to epidemics.

David and his team use epidemiological, mathematical, and economic and program science techniques to evaluate public health initiatives, understand the drivers of epidemic trends, project future epidemic trajectories and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of HIV intervention strategies and programs.

“We are very proud of David’s work and the critical leadership he provides to governments and health agencies in Australia and internationally,” said Professor David Cooper, Director of the Kirby Institute. “His work arms decision makers with the essential information they need to design the most effective, efficient and sustainable strategies aimed at minimizing new HIV infections and maximizing access to lifesaving treatment.”

Associate Professor Wilson is head of the Surveillance and Evaluation Program for Public Health at the Kirby Institute, where he coordinates and reports on surveillance of Australia’s HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmissible infections. He is recognised by the World Bank, UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation as a leader in modelling and program evaluation in the Asia, the Pacific and Eastern Europe.

“Associate Professor Wilson’s work represents a major step forward in the fight against soaring HIV infection rates in Asia and Eastern Europe,” the Director of the Australian Museum, Frank Howarth said. “It ensures evidence and not emotion drives health policy. This is great science – science that saves lives,” he said.

The 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science is awarded to a scientist who has used their leadership skills to create impact inside their institution, amongst their peers, within their discipline or in the wider community. Winners of the 2013 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes were announced at a gala awards dinner on Wednesday, 4 September at Sydney Town Hall.


Watch David Wilson explain his award winning work.

See a full list of the 2013 Eureka Prize winners.

Date published: 
Thursday, 5 September 2013
Laurie Legere
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