Congratulations to our NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship recipients

The Melbourne Medical School is proud to announce the recipients of the 2022 NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarships.

The NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship scheme provides funding for successful applicants to attain a research based postgraduate degree (PhD or Masters). The aim of the Postgraduate Scholarship scheme is to support outstanding health and medical graduates through research training to assist with conducting internationally competitive research and developing original independent research within Australia.

The recipients demonstrated exemplary excellence in their research field and are a testament to the future leadership and research potential of the Melbourne Medical School.

Presenting the Medical School's 2022 NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship recipients

Dr Yew Li (Michelle) Dang
Department of Medicine - Austin Health
Using twin studies to investigate epilepsy aetiology and antiepileptic drug-induced birth defects.

Michelle’s career goal is to work as a clinician-researcher in neurology, with an active focus on translational research in genetics and pharmacogenomics of epilepsy. This project uses twins to identify epilepsy syndromes with strong heritability and to study the genetic contributions to epilepsy and birth defects seen in babies born to mothers taking antiepileptic drugs in pregnancy.

Dr Jessica Fairley
Department of Medicine - St Vincent's Hospital
Meeting an unmet need in systemic sclerosis: defining the burden of arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death.

Jessica is a rheumatologist commencing a PhD with the Departments of Medicine and Rheumatology at St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, investigating cardiac disease in people living with systemic sclerosis. Jessica hopes to establish a career as a clinician-researcher, combining patient care with clinical research to ensure that her research remains relevant to patient needs and translates to improved patient outcomes.

Dr Garry Hamilton
Department of Medicine - Austin Health
Radial artery conduits in coronary artery bypass surgery: the impact of prior instrumentation with a focus on the vascular biology and clinical outcomes.

Garry has just finished Cardiology advanced training and is commencing a PhD investigating the consequences of instrumentation of the radial artery during a coronary angiogram. The injury caused by passing equipment through the radial artery is likely to have a lasting effect on the vessel, which may impact on its ability to function as a coronary bypass graft. The projects include benchtop tissue analyses as well as a clinical focus on outcomes and avoiding radial artery injury.

Dr Huong Nguyen
Department of Medicine - Royal Melbourne Hospital
A Cognitive Ageing Risk Evaluation (CARE) Tool to Support Clinical Diagnosis of Dementia for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Huong is a Geriatrician undertaking research on risk factors and biomarkers of dementia. Her work will develop a cognitive risk tool to support the clinical diagnosis of dementia for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Dr Alexandra Stewart
Department of Infectious Diseases
The role of cytochrome polymorphisms in primaquine metabolism and effects on its activity in radical cure of Plasmodium vivax infection.

Alexandra is an Infectious Diseases Physician with a strong interest in global health and clinical research. Her PhD project will investigate the role of cytochrome polymorphisms in primaquine metabolism for the radical cure of Plasmodium vivax malaria. Alexandra aims to become a clinician-researcher and to utilise pharmacogenetics to improve patient outcomes.

Dr Aaron Kee Yee Wong
Department of Medicine - St Vincent's Hospital
Personalising Pain Relief for People With Cancer: The Right Opioid For the Right Person at the Right Time.

Aaron aims to expand personalised treatment to include the treatment of cancer pain, which most cancer patients suffer. The aim of this project is to specifically tailor opioid use for people with cancer based on their personal biomarkers in their genes and pharmacokinetic data.

Dr Ouli Xie
Department of Infectious Diseases
Evolution of streptococcal pathovars.

Ouli’s research will be investigating the genomic epidemiology and overlap between an emerging human pathogen, group C/G Streptococcus and the more well known group A Streptococcus, with the aim of informing pathogen biology and disease prevention strategies. Through this project, Ouli hopes to develop skills in pathogen genomics to answer clinically driven questions and to progress towards a future career as an infectious diseases clinician-scientist.