Winners of our Young Scientist Study Award Jul 2014

ATA Scientific would like to thank all those that participated in our July 2014 Study Award promotion.

Congratulations to our first prize winner, Mr Nathanial Harris, PhD Candidate at the, Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI), University of Wollongong. Nathanial is studying under the supervision of Associate Professor Marie Ranson. IHMRI is a community of academic researchers and other health professionals with a common interest in advancing health and medical research in the region. The team is focussed on investigating the causes of major diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Motor Neurone Disease and Cancer.

Nanthanial’s PhD research is involved with understanding cancer metastasis, the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. Specifically, N harris cheque 300×212 Winners of our Young Scientist Study Award Jul 2014his work focuses on the Plasminogen activation pathway, and the genes involved, which a tumorigenic system hijacks in order to invade and spread throughout the body.

“I am developing and testing novel, ligand-directed cytotoxins that simultaneously target and deliver a toxic drug dose to breast or pancreatic tumours expressing the biomarker, urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA). It is anticipated that this simultaneous targeting strategy may lead to a dramatic improvement in the treatment of uPA positive cancers with limited systemic toxicity” said Nathanial.

Nathanial recently wrote and performed a song to explain his cancer research. This clever three minute video was created at Nathanial’s laboratory in Wollongong. Stay tuned for Nathaniel’s next music video featuring his winning entry!
Nathanial plans to use his award to assist with his overseas travel expenses to attend the International Society for Fibrinolysis and Proteolysis conference in Rome.

Congratulations to our first runner up, Ms Sarah Laird, PhD Chemistry student at the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science, La Trobe University. Sarah works under the supervision of Dr Conor Hogan senior lecturer at the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science. Sarah is currently finishing up her PhD on the synthesis, characterisation and sensing application of luminescent Iridium(III) complexes.

“I have synthesised a family of Iridium complexes which show fascinating luminescent and electrochemical properties. I’ve discovered that they have highly sensitive pH and oxygen sensing abilities and well as being very good emitters for electrochemiluminescence applications” said Sarah.

When asked why Sarah chose to enter the competition, Sarah replied ” The topic resonated with me, I normally stay away from politics but the continued lack of investment in education and research is a growing concern and I felt I should say something about it”.

Sarah plans to use her award to attend the RACI National Congress in Adelaide at the end of the year. “This award will help my research a lot. My scholarship has run out and I have to teach to support myself while I finish, this will help ease the burden”.

Congratulations to our second runner up, Ms Andrea Fullagar, Masters candidate studying under the supervision of Professor Richard Kingsford, Director of the Centre for Ecosystem Science, University of NSW. The team is focused on investigating the ecology of wetlands and rivers in particular by studying different animals, plants and ecosystem processes that depend on these flows. Andrea is investigating the way in which different waterbird species and communities use environmental flows that created different types of foods for their growth, survival and breeding. In particular, she will be investigating the use of different types of habitats by waterbirds in the Macquarie Marshes and how this varies over the period of a year.

Andrea plans to use her award on her research and will be presenting her work at an Ecological Society of Australian conference.

Click here to view the winning articles.

We would like to thank all those that participated. The next Study Award for 2014 will be posted on our website soon.

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