Burnet researcher a world-beater

Burnet Institute

18 June, 2018

Image: FameLab Champion Dr Siti Khayriyyah Mohd Hanafiah (Credit:

An inspirational presentation on tuberculosis control has earned Burnet Institute collaborator and former Burnet student Dr Siti Khayriyyah Mohd Hanafiah the title 2018 FameLab International Champion.

Billed as the world’s leading science communication competition, FameLab aims to discover charismatic early career scientists who can inspire people to see the world from new perspectives.

Representing Malaysia, Dr Hanafiah beat 27 science communicators from across the world with her fine story telling skills, her clarity of content and engaging stage presence.

“When I get on the stage and I am about to speak and have dropped all of that anxiety and nerves and just commit to that moment,” Dr Hanafiah told

“It is really quite magical. Being able to have that connection with the audience is great. I had the opportunity thanks to FameLab."

Australian researcher Vanessa Pirotta from Macquarie University shared second place.

The judges were Vivienne Parry (science writer and broadcaster), Clifford Johnson (Professor in Physics and Astronomy, author and science communicator) and Farrah Nazir (Acting Creative and Partnerships Lead, Wellcome Trust).

In initiative of the Cheltenham Science Festival (UK) and British Council, FameLab was created in 2005 and went international in 2007.

Based at the Universiti Sains Malaysia Dr Hanafiah is conducting postgraduate research related to host biomarkers in development of rapid diagnostics for active tuberculosis through Burnet’s Anderson Diagnostics Development Laboratory.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Professor Heidi E Drummer

Program Director, Disease Elimination; Scientific Director, Burnet Diagnostics Initiative; Head, Global Health Diagnostics Development Laboratory; Co-Head, Drummer/Poumbourios Laboratory




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