Burnet Travel Awards

Angus Morgan

24 May, 2017

Image: Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC presents the Pauline Speedy Travel Award to Katherine O'Flaherty

All roads lead to Baltimore for two of the winners of Burnet Institute 2017 Travel Awards worth more than $22,000 in total, announced today.

Research Officer Dr Herbert Opi (Beeson/Richards Laboratory) won a Harold Mitchell Foundation Postdoctoral Travel Fellowship of $5,000 to support his malaria research.

The award will enable him to attend the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, in November.

“It’s a great meeting, it has a lot of malaria scientists, so it’s a great opportunity for networking, for meeting potential collaborators,” Dr Opi said.

“But even more importantly to present my work, because you get quite a good mix of experts who can give you good feedback and ideas on how to do the work.

“And I guess that’s the whole point of this award.”

Dr Opi said he plans to present work that’s been in the pipeline for some time without the opportunity to ‘put it out there’.

“I was hoping, but not expecting to win the award because it’s very competitive, so it was quite a delight when I was told that I would receive it, and I’m very grateful,” he said.

Joining Dr Opi at the ASTMH Conference will be the winner of The Pauline Speedy Biomedical Research Travel Fellowship, PhD student, Katherine O’Flaherty.

“I’ll be presenting some work based on a project we’re leading in Myanmar and it’s looking at the effects of immunity on the epidemiology of sub-clinical and clinical malaria in southern Myanmar,” Ms O’Flaherty said.

“Some of the first stages of the work are to do with a randomised clinical trial of insect repellents and some of that work is complete, but the immunological aspect of the work is on-going and should be nearly complete by time I attend the meeting.

“It is nice to be acknowledged for your work, but it’s just a massive help to be able to attend such a prestigious conference during my PhD, it’s quite special.”

Image: (L-R) Award winners Katherine O'Flaherty, Dr Herbert Opi, Riya Palchaudhuri, Dr Nick Scott, Kathleen Ryan, Cassandra Wright

The Crockett-Murphy Travel Award (up to $5,000) to support national staff in Burnet’s programs overseas went to Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Research Officer Primrose Homiehombo, based in Kokopo, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Other Burnet Travel Award winners were:

Harold Mitchell Foundation Postgraduate Travel Fellowship: Kathleen Ryan, Behaviours and Risks, Disease Elimination

The Hon Geoffrey Connard Travel Fellowship: Jacqui Richmond, Behaviours and Risks, Disease Elimination

Miller Foundation Biomedical Research Travel Award: Riya Palchaudhuri, Disease Elimination, Healthy Ageing

Miller Foundation Public Health Travel Award: Cassandra Wright, Behaviours and Risks

Crofts Publication Award:

Elisha de Valle, Jasper Cornish and Dr Raffi Gugasyan for NFkappaB1 is essential to prevent the development of multiorgan autoimmunity by limiting IL-6 production in follicular B cells.

Biomedical Research Publication Awards:

Dr Nick Scott, Dr Joseph Doyle and Professor Margaret Hellard for Cost-effectiveness of treating chronic hepatitis C virus with direct-acting antivirals in people who inject drugs in Australia.

Dr Pham Duc Minh, Paul Agius, Peter McGlynn, Associate Professor David Anderson, Professor Suzanne Crowe AM, and Associate Professor Stanley Luchters for Performance of point-of-care CD4 testing technologies in resource-constrained settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Angus Morgan

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