2019 Hudson Institute Travel Awards and Bryan Williams Trainee Scholarship

Congratulations to the 2019 Hudson Institute Travel Awards recipients who will attend international conferences and visit laboratories to build invaluable knowledge in their area of research.

Congratulations also to the recipient of the inaugural Bryan Williams Trainee Scholarship Travel Award, offered annually to a Hudson Institute graduate student or postdoctoral fellow. The Scholarship is supported by generous donations from Hudson Institute’s former CEO, Professor Williams’ international network of friends and colleagues to honour his scientific accomplishments, mentorship and contribution to the scientific community around the globe.

Dr Xin (Claire) Sun

Research Group: Cancer Genetics and Functional Genomics

Postdoctoral Travel Award

Dr Sun will present her contribution to the Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program (HMPPM) at the D3b Centre at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in October. The HMPPM aims to improve treatment for child cancer patients with the greatest unmet clinical need. Dr Sun will also attend an instructional training program with the Children’s Brain Tumour Tissue Consortium (CBTTC) at the D3b Centre.

“This is an incredible opportunity to collaborate, receive welcome feedback and be updated with the most advanced methodologies,” Dr Sun said.

Dr Jun Yang

Research Group: Cardiovascular Endocrinology

Postdoctoral Travel Award

Dr Yang will attend the 9th Annual International Conference of Aldosterone and ENaC in Health and Disease at Estes Park, Colorado, 2 – 6 October. She will chair a symposium, titled ‘Normal and Pathogenic Regulation of Aldosterone Biosynthesis’.

The conference focuses on cutting-edge research presented by top investigators in the field of mineralocorticoid receptors and aldosterone in pathophysiology.

“As my research centres on detrimental effects of aldosterone excess in cardiovascular disease, this meeting provides the ideal forum for discussion on my research outcomes,” Dr Yang said.

The conference also provides the opportunity for Dr Yang to network with world-renowned specialists in aldosterone and hypertension.

Dr Rukmali Wijayarathna

Research Group: Endocrinology and Immunophysiology

Postdoctoral Travel Award

Dr Wijayarathna will present her work at two conferences and undertake a short research trip to Germany. She will present at the Society for Reproductive Biology meeting in Sydney, 18 – 21 August, as well as the 6th International Workshop on Molecular Andrology, 24 – 26 September, in Giessen, Germany.

“I will present data from two studies I have been undertaking over the past year. These findings provide new insights into the unique immunobiological environment of the male reproductive tract,” Dr Wijayarathna said.

Brittany Croft

Research Group: Sex Determination and Gonadal Development
Supervisor: Professor Vincent Harley

PhD Travel Award

Brittany will attend the Marine Biology Laboratory (MBL) summer intensive program: Embryology: Concepts and Techniques in Modern Developmental Biology. The course is for advanced graduate students and aims to broaden understanding of developmental biology.

Brittany will also attend the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) annual conference in San Jose, US, 22 July. She will present her work on the regulation of genes required for human sex determination.

“This will be the first opportunity I have to present my work at the SSR conference and showcase my PhD research to a specialised reproductive biology audience,” Brittany said.

She will also visit overseas research groups at the Francis Crick Institute in London and the Yale University in the US.

Mohamed Saad

Research Group: Cancer and Immune Signalling
Supervisor: Professor Brendan Jenkins

PhD Travel Award

Mohamed’s work has identified a potential therapeutic target for lung adenocarcinoma. He will present his work at the World Congress on Inflammation in Sydney held, 15 – 19 September, as well as the International Cytokine and Interferon Society (ICIS) conference in Vienna, Austria, 20 – 23 October.

“I will also visit the University of Kiel, Germany, to discuss our data with world-renowned scientists in the field of cytokine biology. This will help us analyse and validate our proteomics data, which could pave the way for the discovery of potential therapeutic targets and biomarkers for lung adenocarcinoma,” Mohamed said.

Sarah Moody

Research Group: Testis Development and Male Germ Cell Biology
Supervisor: Professor Kate Loveland

PhD Travel Award

Sarah will attend the Gordon Research Conference (GRC): Germinal Stem Cell Biology, held in Hong Kong, 19-24 in May.

“The conference focuses on scientific discussion, networking and fostering collaborations,” Sarah said.

She will also attend the Society for Reproductive Biology (SRB) meeting in Sydney, 18 – 21 August.

Dilanka Fernando

Research Group: STAT Cancer Biology
Supervisor: Dr Daniel Gough

Bryan Williams Trainee Scholarship

Dilanka attended the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), 29 March-3 April in Atlanta, US. He presented the findings of his work on a novel functional role of the protein, STAT3, which contributes to vulnerability of tumours.

“Attending AACR 2019 allowed me to receive invaluable feedback and updates from pioneers in this field, regarding recent advances in cancer research. This helped to boost my knowledge, advance my set of skills and develop my career as a cancer researcher,” Dilanka said.