University of Queensland scientist Professor Ian Frazer today received the prestigious award for developing a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer the world's first ever cancer vaccine. He was a joint recipient of the award with Professor Barry Marshall and Dr Robin Warren who received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2005 for their research on stomach ulcers.
Professor Frazer, who founded and leads UQ's Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research, is also the 2006 Queensland Australian of the Year and is consequently in the running for the Australian of the Year Award, which will be announced at Parliament House on January 25.
He said The Australian's award and the nomination for Australian of the Year were both a tremendous honour and responsibility.
"It gives me a great opportunity to promote science and specifically biomedical research and it also gives me an opportunity to talk with people about how they can contribute through their own work to the community," he said.
"You can get a great deal of personal satisfaction out of doing good for others.
"I think society has become very focused on self and on consumerism and what I'd like to see in addition to this concept of financial benefit is the concept of social credit doing things that are of benefit to others.
"You can get a great kick out of that for yourself but it's also good for the community and people should be rewarded for doing things for the community.
"Not everybody is going to invent a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer but everybody can do something good in the community by just thinking about others as well as themselves."
Professor Frazer is keen to see the vaccine become readily available to all females across the world.