News

Poster prize for Kieran Cashin

Angus Morgan

14 November, 2014

Burnet’s Kieran Cashin has won the prestigious AbbVie Student Poster Award at the AusBiotech 2014 National Conference.

A PhD candidate in the Gorry Laboratory at Burnet’s Centre for Biomedical Research, Mr Cashin received the award for his poster presentation ‘PhenoSeq: A computer algorithm for determining HIV receptor usage’.

PhenoSeq predicts which of the cell-surface receptors (CCR5 or CXCR4) HIV binds to when entering immune system cells.

This is important for the prescription of Maraviroc, an anti-HIV drug that binds to CCR5, blocking the entry of HIV, but which is ineffective against HIV that uses CXCR4.

Laboratory tests can determine which form the client has before Maraviroc is prescribed, but they are expensive – costing around US$1,500 per client – and can take up to a month to complete.

The beauty of the PhenoSeq program is that it’s freely available online and produces an instant result.

This could enhance decision-making for doctors to assist the health outcomes for patients around the globe.

A total of 20 abstracts presented in the poster display at the AusBiotech Conference in a broad range of research areas including biomedical engineering, nanotechnology and bioinformatics.

Mr Cashin’s skills are not confined to the laboratory and poster presentations.

He recently took first place in the Free Presentation section at the 2014 AMREP Early-Mid Career Researcher Conference, also on his PhenoSeq research.

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Burnet Institute

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Email

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