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Super Dots put young researcher in the running for Asia-Pacific science prize

18 April 2017

Professor Dayong Jin is director of a $3.7 million ARC Industrial Transformation Hub whose objective is to develop portable diagnostic devices with superior detection capabilities

Professor Dayong Jin is director of a $3.7 million ARC Industrial Transformation Hub whose objective is to develop portable diagnostic devices with superior detection capabilities. Photo: Vanessa Valenzuela Davie.

UTS Faculty of Science Distinguished Professor Dayong Jin is Australia’s nominee for the prestigious APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE) for his work in optoelectronic engineering.

Professor Jin’s selection to contest the $US25,000 prize recognises the potential of his nanocrystal (Super Dots) research and his commitment to collaborating with scientists in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, said Professor Jin is “an exceptional young scientist working on new and advanced materials … he was selected from a high-calibre field in a national competition to pick a nominee for the APEC-wide prize”.

Senator Sinodinos said Professor Jin was nominated for his work to produce the world’s brightest nanocrystals, called Super Dots, which can be used in single molecule detection, fibre-based remote sensing and point-of-care diagnostics.

Through a longstanding collaboration with Peking University, Professor Jin led a team of six institutes and industry partners from Australia, China, US, and Japan, and pioneered a “τ-Dots” multiplexing technology for high-speed bio discoveries, personalised medicine, rapid pathogen detection, data storage and anti-counterfeiting.

Prof Dayong Jin wearing lab coat, in the lab

Professor Dayong Jin in the lab.  Photo: Anna Zhu


The 2017 ASPIRE theme is new material technologies, reflecting the importance of research into developing new and advanced materials in driving scientific innovation. Nominations are open to young researchers working in materials and biomaterials science, chemical and mechanical engineering and nanotechnology, among other areas. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Vietnam later this year.

The Academy also recognised the scientific excellence of two runners-up, Dr Mohsen Rahmani from the Australian National University and Associate Professor Sharath Sriram from the RMIT University.

The ASPIRE prize is run by the Australian Academy of Science, with support from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. It recognises scientists under the age of 40 who are working in APEC economies and who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in scientific research and cooperation with scientists across other APEC economies.

Professor Jin is an ARC Future Fellow in biophotonics, nanotechnology and medical biotechnology, director of the ARC Research Hub for Integrated Device for End-user Analysis at Low-levels (IDEAL Hub) 2016–2021 and director, Initiative for Biomedical Materials & Devices (IBMD) in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at UTS.