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Curtin student recognised for developing innovative medical software

Media release

A second-year Curtin University student has been awarded the Peter Fillery Best Undergraduate Tertiary Student Project of the Year at the WAITTA INCITE Awards for creating and coding a new user-friendly program for researchers to identify tumours more efficiently.

Kira Molloy with Science Minister Dave Kelly and science ambassador Lyn Beazley.

Bachelor of Advanced Science (Computing) student Kira Molloy, aged 19, created the program during an industry placement at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, undertaken as part of her Curtin course.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry congratulated Ms Molloy on receiving the award and creating the innovative program.

“Ms Molloy is a true champion for women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematical fields and continues to inspire and make a difference, so her recognition with this award is truly deserved,” Professor Terry said.

“Ms Molloy is a great role model for younger students and I look forward to seeing more of her achievements in what will undoubtedly be a successful career into the future.”

The software Ms Molloy created enables researchers and pathologists to efficiently view, rotate and overlay images from OCT scans, imagery that shows the tissue structure underneath the surface of the skin, and compare this to histology scans, imagery that shows the microscopic tissue structure, to identify tumours.

Ms Molloy said she was proud of the program she created as it turned a once labour-intensive process into a more efficient one and was accessible by many people at the Harry Perkins Institute who had been unable to use the old programs.

“I worked with the researchers and pathologists at the Harry Perkins Institute to better understand what they needed from the program and how they would be using it and I’m really pleased with what I have created and how it is able to assist the important work they do,” Ms Molloy said.

“I’m interested in promoting STEM and inspiring younger students to not only pursue STEM fields but also voluntary industry placements, through which they can make a positive contribution to the community.”

Ms Molloy is a leader in the Coding 4 Girls program, which teaches girls in Year 2 and 3 how to block code robots. The initiative is run by Curtin Volunteers! and Manning Primary School.

The WAITTA (Western Australian Information Technology and Telecommunications Alliance) INCITE Awards are Western Australia’s premier awards event in the information and communications technology industry.

More information about the WAITTA INCITE Awards can be found here: