World-renowned researcher, immunologist and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research Partnerships at Victoria University, Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos, has made The Educator Higher Education ‘Hot List’ 2020.
The winners – from researchers, professors and principals to other industry figures – are singled out for their outstanding contributions not just to the academe, but also the community and the country.
Professor Apostolopoulos was honoured for her contribution to higher education over the last twelve months, along with acknowledging her work as a researcher with expertise in immunology, x-ray crystallography, medical chemistry, cellular biology, and her extensive translational research expertise with drugs and vaccines.
“I’m very proud that my work has been acknowledged by The Educator. It has been a difficult year, but I think my team and the wider university will continue to rise to the challenges ahead,” Professor Apostolopoulos said.
One of her significant achievements is the development of the concept of immunotherapy for cancer, which aims to boost specific immune cells and program them to kill cancer cell. This treatment, which is now being used by hundreds of labs around the world, has also been used by Apostolopoulos to develop two world’s first vaccines – breast cancer vaccine and ovarian cancer vaccine. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Vasso and her team in Victoria University's Immunology & Translational research are now focusing their efforts on investigating and working on vaccines and drugs to treat the virus.
Some of the awards Professor Apostolopoulos has received include Premier’s Award for Medical Research, Young Australian of the Year (Vic), Greek Australian of the Year, and Woman of the Year. She was named as one of the most successful Greeks abroad by the prestigious Times magazine.