10:15am Tuesday 26 May 2020

Researcher awarded for 'animated' approach to controlling infection

Cartoon, The Magic Glasses, promotes good hygiene behaviour to children in rural China.

A cartoon that has helped halve parasitic worm infection rates among rural Chinese children has earned a University of Queensland (UQ) researcher a prestigious award.

Dr Franziska Bieri, from UQ’s School of Population Health, has won the Research Australia Discovery Award for developing “The Magic Glasses”, a cartoon that promotes good hygiene behaviour to children in rural China.

“Intestinal worms are one of the most wide-spread and disabling chronic infections, affecting nearly a third of the world’s population,” Dr Bieri said.

“This work has the potential to help eliminate infections globally and we’re continuing to develop the program in collaboration with QIMR Berghofer and colleagues in China, the Philippines and Switzerland.”

Dr Bieri undertook the project in collaboration with QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and the Hunan Institute of Parasitic Diseases.

The rate of parasitic worm infection in children in the rural province of Hunan halved after the cartoon was shown in schools.

The project featured in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in April this year.

The annual Research Australia Awards recognise and celebrate achievement across health and medical research.

The Research Australia Discovery Award recognises an early career researcher who has demonstrated work of importance or impact.

Media: Vanessa Mannix Coppard 042 420 7771, [email protected]; Dr Franziska Bieri, [email protected].

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