It is with great sadness that the Academy has learned of the passing of one of our Fellows, Professor Katharina (Kat) Gaus FAHMS.
Elected to the Academy in 2015, Professor Gaus was a much-loved and respected Fellow, and she will be missed by the entire community.
Professor Gaus received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1999. After a BASF Postdoctoral Fellowship appointment at the Heart Research Institute, Sydney, she joined the University of New South Wales in 2002 as an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellow. Over the subsequent 18 years, she rose to not only be a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging, but also Founder/Head of the EMBL Australia Node in Single Molecule Science and a UNSW Scientia Professor; the institution’s highest recognition of research and scholarly excellence.
Professor Gaus was a scientist in the truest sense of the word. Driven by curiosity, the underlying ambition of her work was to gain a mechanistic understanding of the regulation of multi-molecular complexes in signal transduction processes, particularly in T cells. In this pursuit, Professor Gaus and her team developed and applied novel fluorescence microscopy approaches to afford a ‘bottom up’ perspective of complex cellular processes, providing mechanistic insights into the regulation of the temporal and organisation of membrane components. This biophysical approach has led to new concepts in signalling and membrane biology as well as innovative quantitative imaging approaches that have laid the foundation for a quantitative understanding of biological signalling processes.
Professor Gaus received many accolades, including the prestigious Gottschalk Medal of the Australian Academy of Science. She is also remembered as generous mentor, who took great pride in supporting talented young researchers to achieve their goals. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.