Hudson Institute researchers scoop Endocrine Society of Australia awards

esa_logo_webFour out of five Endocrine Society of Australia (ESA) research awards and scholarships for 2016 have been awarded to Hudson Institute of Medical Research students and researchers.

Hudson Institute Director, Professor Bryan Williams, was delighted to note the receipt of the scholarships and awards, which will support the recipients’ research and PhD projects at the Hudson to the combined value of almost $100,000.

Jun-Yang

Dr Jun Yang

Dr Jun Yang, Dr Justin Chen and PhD students Dilys Leung from the Centre for Endocrinology and Metabolism, and PhD student Cherie Au from the Centre for Cancer Research, all received awards and scholarships.

Dr Yang, who is also a Consultant Endocrinologist at Monash Health, was awarded the Ken Wynne Memorial Postdoctoral Research Award, worth $25,000.

The award will enable her to continue her research in identifying novel targets of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) that will help to identify accessible biomarkers in heart failure.

“The study will involve blood samples from patients at the hospital (Monash Heart) which are then analysed in the cardiovascular endocrinology laboratory at the Hudson Institute,” Dr Yang said.

Dr Justin Chen received a $25,000 ESA Postdoctoral Award to support his research into identifying the mediators of wasting cancer cachexia.

The project will test the potential of modified prodomain therapeutics to prevent and reverse skeletal muscle wasting in an animal model of cancer cachexia.

Meanwhile, Hudson/ Monash University School of Clinical Sciences students Cherie Au and Dilys Leung both received an ESA Research Higher Degree Scholarship, worth $22,500, to support them through their PhD studies.

Dilys Leung’s PhD will focus on identifying and manipulating unusual and distinctive patterns of key genes involved in cancer cell survival, to provide prognostic information and novel targets for treatment. Dilys is supervised in the Steroid Receptor Biology Group by Dr Simon Chu.

Cherie Au’s PhD focuses on the gut-derived peptide hormone, des acyl ghrelin (DAG), as a novel breast cancer therapeutic that inhibits aromatase (the enzyme that synchronises oestrogen) activity and oestrogen-dependent breast cancer cell growth. Cherie is supervised in the Metabolism and Cancer Group by Dr Kristy Brown.