Three emerging innovators to represent Australia at Falling Walls Lab in Germany

Finalists and attendees of Falling Walls Lab Australia 2023.

Dr Emma-Anne Karlsen is the winner of the eighth Falling Walls Lab Australia event, hosted by the Australian Academy of Science on 18 September.

Emma-Anne spoke about ‘breaking the wall’ of cancer therapy. As a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland’s Frazer Institute, she is investigating novel breast cancer biomarkers and therapeutic strategies. Also a General Surgery Registrar, Emma-Anne hopes to build a career as a surgeon-scientist to improve global health outcomes for women with breast cancer.

Second place was awarded to Alex Griffin, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and The University of Sydney. Alex is a physiotherapist, early-career researcher and consumer of paediatric disability services. Her mission is to advance the development and application of new treatments for paediatric disability, in partnership with people with lived experience.

University of Queensland PhD candidate Hemanshi Galaiya came in third place. As a champion for youth and women empowerment, Hemanshi spoke about ‘breaking the wall’ of inequitable education by increasing the quality of STEM education-particularly in her home country, Kenya.

The three winners will travel to Berlin in November to represent Australia at the Falling Walls Lab Finale. They will present their 3-minute pitch alongside 100 other finalists selected from more than 79 Labs across the globe.

The top 3 were chosen from 10 emerging innovators, who gathered at the Shine Dome in Canberra to present their ideas, research and initiatives on the theme ‘Which walls will fall next?’. The 10 finalists were selected from earlier heats in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane.

Each participant had just 3 minutes to make their pitch in front of a jury of eminent academics and leaders from government, business and finance, chaired by President of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC PresAA FREng FTSE.

The Falling Walls Science Summit is an annual conference that fosters discussion on research and innovation and promotes the latest scientific findings among a broad audience from all parts of society. The Lab is an international forum for the next generation of outstanding innovators and creative thinkers.

Falling Walls Lab Australia is organised by the Australian Academy of Science in association with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Australia, and with the support of event partners ZEISS, EURAXESS Australia and New Zealand, and the DAAD German Academic Exchange Service.

/Public Release. View in full here.