Campus Travel would like to thank everyone for applying for the 2016 Travel Grant Series.
The successful applicants for the academic and student travel grants are detailed below.
ACADEMIC TRAVEL GRANT
Dr Laura McCaughey – ithree institute, University of Technology Sydney, Biochemistry
My research focuses on the identification of new antibiotic targets in dangerous, infectious bacteria. I am investigating the mechanisms by which a new class of antibiotic enters into bacterial cells, evades bacterial defenses and kills bacteria. Elucidating all three processes is important in fully understanding how the antibiotics work, which will then allow me to exploit this information for further antibiotic development.
Awarding of the Campus Travel 2016 Travel Grant would afford me the opportunity to collaborate with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the UK, the world leading research institute for DNA sequencing. TraDIS, a DNA sequencing technique recently developed at the Sanger Institute, has the potential to answer all of my above research questions as well as accelerate and diversify my research in ways not possible with other techniques. As TraDIS is a new technique, it is only available at a handful of institutes worldwide and is not freely available to all researchers. I have contacted Professor Julian Parkhill at the Sanger Institute and he is happy to collaborate on this project, an opportunity not available to many early career researchers.
The outcomes from this collaboration would be a wealth of knowledge that could be exploited for future antibiotic development. This project has the potential to impact not only the fields of microbiology and drug development but the broad and impactful field of public health. This is exceptionally important due to the current global antibiotic resistance crisis that threatens modern medicine as we know it.
STUDENT TRAVEL GRANT
Elena Katharina Schneider - Monash University, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive genetic disease with an incidence of 1:3,500 in Caucasian populations. The disease affects the mucus glands in the lung, liver, pancreas, and intestines causing progressive multi-system failure such as loss of lung function and pancreatic insufficiency, eventually leading to death, often at a very young age. At present, there is no cure for CF. I have developed reliable LC/MS method for measuring the plasma concentration of two novel compounds that were recently approved as CF therapy, to facilitate pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) studies. The pharmacological findings will furthermore assist clinicians to maximise the effectiveness of the dosage regimen of these imported albeit expensive drugs, and significantly reduce the cost for patients and health care systems.
I would use this Travel Grant to present this innovative work at the European Conference on Cystic Fibrosis (7-10 June 2017, Sevilla, Spain) and offer clinicians to implement my assay into their clinic. ECFS is the largest European Conference on CF with participants from multidisciplinary backgrounds focusing on this genetic disease. I am confident that attending this conference will allow me to bring back additional inspiration to help patients that suffer from CF.