2015 Heliflite Young Explorer and CHAMP Young Pioneer Award winners announced

The recipients of the Heliflite Young Explorer and CHAMP Private Equity Young Pioneer Awards were announced at Garvan’s Annual General Meeting, celebrating the successes of 2014.
2015 Heliflite Young Explorer and CHAMP Young Pioneer Award winners announced

Dr Fatima Valdes Mora, Scott Edmonds from Heliflite and Dr Amanda Brandon

25 May 2015

The recipients of the Heliflite Young Explorer and CHAMP Private Equity Young Pioneer Awards were announced at Garvan’s Annual General Meeting, celebrating the successes of 2014.

Dr Amanda Brandon from the Diabetes and Metabolism Division and Dr Fatima Valdes Mora from the Genetics and Epigenetics Division were awarded the Heliflite Young Explorer Awards for 2015. Dr Liz Caldon from the Cancer Division received the CHAMP Private Equity Young Pioneer Award for 2015.

Both the Heliflite Young Explorer and CHAMP Private Equity Young Pioneer Awards were initiated in 2014 with the aim of supporting Garvan’s up-and-coming researchers.

The Heliflite Young Explorers Award provides a $5,000 grant to two outstanding early career researchers at Garvan. The grant fosters the careers of young researchers by supporting their attendance of international conferences, or enabling them to engage in international collaborations.

The Young Pioneer Award is provided by CHAMP Private Equity. It provides a $10,000 grant as seed funding for an innovative project to one stand-out early career researcher at Garvan. The award enables researchers who are still establishing their career to initiate early stage medical research opportunities.

Dr Amanda Brandon is a Research Officer in the Insulin Action and Energy Metabolism Laboratory in the Diabetes and Metabolism Division. Dr Brandon uses nutritional overload models to understand the development of type 2 diabetes and how it might be prevented. She will use the Heliflite Young Explorers Award for her trip to the Annual American Diabetes Association Meeting in Boston to present her data and meet with some collaborators at Boston University.

Dr Fatima Valdes Mora leads the Histone Variants Group in the Genetics and Epigenetics Division. Dr Valdes Mora studies the molecular mechanisms of how histone variants regulate abnormal gene transcription (a segment of DNA is copied to RNA) in cancer and how they crosstalk with other epigenetic factors. She will use the Heliflite Young Explorer Awards to present her research at the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) meeting in Birmingham, UK in September 2015.

Dr Liz Caldon is the Leader of the Replication and Genome Stability Group in Cancer which studies the role of genomic instability in the development of drug resistance in breast cancer. Dr Caldon will use the CHAMP Young Pioneer Award to investigate her novel hypothesis that hormone signalling is instrumental in the development of chemotherapy resistance, by influencing the process of DNA repair thereby promoting the persistence of genetic alterations that may drive resistance to therapeutic drugs.

Continued thanks to Heliflite and CHAMP Private Equity for their ongoing support of Garvan’s early career researchers.

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