SPIN to WIN at LORNE PROTEINS 2018
Our annual ‘SPIN TO WIN” Young Scientist award was once again a very exciting event during the 43rd Lorne Protein Structure and Function conference (4-8 Feb 2018). Students and academic staff were invited to spin the ATA wheel to win a number of different prizes which included the main prize on the board – our $2000 Young Scientist Award. A number of participants progressed through to the final round which saw the exhibition hall light up with great energy and excitement. The audience followed in anticipation until finally the winner was announced!
Congratulations to Dr Naomi Ling, Senior Researcher at St Vincent’s Institute Medical Research – winner of the $2000 Travel Award ‘Spin to Win’ Prize!
Naomi kindly nominated Toby Dite as the recipient of the award as per the conditions. The ATA Scientific young scientist award is open to PhD candidates and scientists aged 30 years or younger. By setting an age limit we give early career scientists access to financial assistance to enable them to collaborate with peers at scientific meetings such as the Lorne Proteins conference, and to launch their careers within their field of study.
Toby is in the final stages of his PhD project, with supervisors Dr. Jon Oakhill and Prof. Bruce Kemp at St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, through the University of Melbourne. Toby is investigating post-translational modifications of the energy sensing kinase AMP-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK), and how this relates to drug activation/inhibition of AMPK pathways. This involves the feedback of several pathways on AMPK, leading to phosphorylation of critical residues involved in drug sensitivity. To delineate direct and indirect drug activation of AMPK, Toby’s research utilises mass spectrometric analysis of metabolites alongside other methods such as western blotting. Toby’s thesis involves the identification of new pathways involved in AMPK regulation, and the development of new methods of measuring AMPK activation/inhibition. Toby hopes to stay in the field of biochemistry, specifically investigating kinase signalling pathways into the future.
“A highlight of my PhD so far has been my first author publication “The Autophagy Initiator ULK1 sensitizes AMPK to Allosteric Drugs” in Nature Communications last year. “
Toby would like to use his award to attend the AMPK conference, from mechanisms to new therapies, 30 September to 4 October this year, in Canada.
The SPIN to WIN award is part of the ATA Scientific Encouragement award program that started in 2011. The intent is to provide scientists access to financial assistance to enable them to collaborate with peers at scientific meetings and to launch their careers within their field of study. The awards are run at least four times a year which has so far awarded 53 winners from multiple Universities and research organisations around Australia and New Zealand. We plan to continue posting these awards into the future and encourage all students to enter. For all previous winners please visit our website here.
For more information regarding our award or to enter the next promotion contact us or visit our webpage at www.atascientific.com.au/awards-events-training/