The Ed Krumins Young Scientist Award

Ed Krumins History 

This award is named in honour of Edgars Janis Marks Krumins (02/09/49-23/09/98) in recognition of his significant and lasting contribution to cytogenetics in Australia. 

Ed completed his post graduate master’s degree at the University of Melbourne, studying the cytogenetics of insect speciation under the supervision of eminent geneticist M.J.D. White. The literature review from Ed’s thesis, entitled “Hybridisation in the speciation of animals”, is held by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre as part of the M.J.D. White collection.

In the late 1970’s Ed moved his interest from insects to humans and was appointed senior medical scientist in Cytogenetics at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne. Over the next 10 years he grew the laboratory into one of the busiest and most progressive in the country. He helped pioneer the introduction of first trimester prenatal diagnosis, successfully seeking research funding to have CVS established at RWH by 1985. Shortly thereafter he co-authored the first report of a false-negative finding at CVS, highlighting the then largely unknown phenomenon of confined placental mosaicism, and setting the trend towards routine cytogenetic analysis of long term cultures.

In the industrial arena Ed was extremely active in advocating for appropriate recognition of the role of medical scientists in diagnostic pathology. Together with his deputy, Sam Eichenbaum, he campaigned successfully to upgrade the career structure for medical scientists within Victoria, including landmark recognition of the then HGSACC (now FHGSA) qualification. Victorian scientists continue to receive additional benefits and financial reward through improved career structure and from the recognition of the FHGSA qualification under Victorian industrial law. His strong support for education and the certification process has led to no less than eight successful FHGSA candidates completing at least part of their training under his mentorship.       

In 1990 Ed demonstrated his entrepreneurial spirit by establishing his own cytogenetics laboratory, Prophase Genetics. The establishment of this service led to increased competition and helped modernise cytogenetic service delivery, leading to significant reductions in sample report times and leading to improvements in laboratory efficiencies. 

Ed enjoyed nothing more than socialising with friends and colleagues over a glass or two of fine red wine, and developed an enviable cellar to enable this pursuit. A man of proud Latvian   heritage, he was generous in both spirit and nature, and has left a significant legacy for Australian cytogeneticists. 

The award named in his honour aims to encourage young Australasian scientists to pursue and present original research in human cytogenetics. It has been awarded annually at the Australasian Society of Cytogeneticists (ASoC) Interim meeting since 1999.

Ed Krumins Award Recipients

1999 Amanda Dixon-McIver HAPS Newcastle
2000 Phillipa Kirkpatrick Childrens Hospital Westmead
2001 Sarah Mitchell Auckland, NZ
2002 Patricia Moore Royal Childrens, Melbourne
2003 Jo-an Junio Sydney IVF
2004 Agnieszka Wikiendt HAPS Newcastle
2005 Amber Boys Royal Childrens, Melbourne
2006 Jothy Kandasamy Childrens Hospital Westmead
2007 Adrian Zordan VCGS
2008 Rachel Fraser IMVS, Adelaide
2009 Daniel Bruno Murdock Institute, Melbourne
2010 Vanessa Read VCGS Path
2011 Stephanie Grehan Queensland Fertility Group
2012 Nadine Berry HAPS Newcastle
2013 Rebecca Day Hamilton, NZ
2014 Benjamin Lundie Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology
2015 Jayde Grace-Hood QML Pathlogy