Photo: Claudia Kielkopf, Dr Kara Vine-Perrow, A/Prof Martina Sanderson-Smith, Samantha Wade, Dr Diane Ly, Annette Wellings, Kara Lamond and Jay Perry.

Early career researcher wins Dr Margaret Gardiner award for Medical Research

IHMRI’s Samantha Wade has won the Dr Margaret Gardiner scholarship for her work in designing and developing drug delivery implants for pancreatic cancer treatment.

Dr Margaret Gardiner was a renowned Wollongong GP and public advocate for breast cancer awareness. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 and became an active fundraiser to find a cure. She succumbed to the disease just days before International Women’s Day in 2017.

Each year in March, seven role models from the Illawarra are honoured for their achievements at a gala International Women’s Day event in Wollongong. All the awards are named after inspiring women from the Illawarra. Each winner receives $2000 to support their work in the community.

“I have presented this work at seven conferences, both nationally and internationally, and have received four awards demonstrating excellence in research and science communication,” said Sam Wade.

“This win will allow me to attend a drug delivery conference in Las Vegas in June. It’s the largest drug delivery conference in the world. Attending conferences like this is a great opportunity to expand professional and academic networks.”

In 2018, Sam’s supervisor, Dr Kara Vine-Perrow won the Margaret Gardiner scholarship and used the money to travel to a Cancer Research Conference in Portugal.

Dr Vine-Perrow says Sam Wade is very deserving of the scholarship.

“It has been a great delight to mentor and supervise Sam over the past few years. Sam is an incredibly talented and dedicated scientist, I look forward to watching her career grow and reaching her full potential,” said Dr Vine-Perrow.

Sam says she is honoured to receive the recognition and support.

“International Women’s Day to me is a way of showcasing women who you normally wouldn’t have heard about. Each year I end up learning the stories of some really interesting women who work hard but don’t necessarily publicise it. I also grew up in a female dominated household full of strong women so I think it’s also a chance to celebrate the current women in your life, both personal and professional, and take a chance to reflect on all of the incredible things they do.”

Last year’s award winner was PhD candidate Carolyn Hollis. The death of her father to a brain tumour several years ago was the catalyst for her returning to University. She is now completing a PhD in Medical Radiation Physics and working to improve outcomes for sufferers of brain cancer by combining nanotherapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.


Media contact

Louise Negline, Communications Coordinator

t: 4221 4702 m: 0417 044 867 e:

You may also like

Is there a best time to move for people with Type 2 Diabetes?
Scarlet fever on the rise worldwide
Distinguished Professor David J. Adams, IHMRI
IHMRI CEO gains national recognition