Medical research scientist
Nigel was a career musician when his baby daughter, Ella, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Driven by fierce fatherly love, he resolved to put down his guitar and become a medical scientist – despite never completing Year 12. A decade on and with a PhD, he is researching gene therapy and stem cells to prevent lung disease in people with cystic fibrosis. Nigel, who works with the Adelaide Cystic Fibrosis Airway Research Group, undertakes molecular studies to prove that treating lung‑replenishing stem cells can sustain positive longer-term effects. He is determined that Ella, now 11, will be in the first generation of patients to see a cure for cystic fibrosis airway disease.