Dr Heidi Walkden

Neuroscientist and science policy fellow

2022 QLD Young Australian of the Year Nominee

Ever since high school science competitions piqued Dr Heidi Walkden’s interest in neuroscience, she’s made outstanding contributions to the field.

Heidi made a ground-breaking discovery when she found a new path by which bacteria can quickly move from the nasal cavity to the brain. In recognition of her research, she was named in the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list in the category of Healthcare and Science, as one of only three Australians to make the top 30 in her category.

Alongside her neuroscience research, Heidi has worked on the ‘That’s RAD! Science’ engagement outreach project, producing engaging children’s books that promote women in science. Since 2017, the project has released four books and distributed more than 6,000 copies to children, schools and libraries around Queensland and Australia.

From humble beginnings in Ipswich, Heidi has made incredible discoveries and achieved international recognition for her accomplishments. All the while, she has consistently supported her colleagues in promoting science to the Australian community.