From researching rotavirus and influenza at Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics to helping find a cure for cancer in Switzerland.

It’s no wonder Griffith PhD student Raphael Böhm has become the recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for excellence in the Doctor of Philosophy.

Dr Böhm will receive his award on Friday, July 24, at the Gold Coast Graduation Ceremony at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

He moved to Switzerland last year to further his research expertise in advanced scientific techniques to better understand the structure of disease-related proteins. His current research, at the University of Basel, involves determining the architecture of proteins important to cancer so that progress can be made towards finding a cure.

“It is a big honour to receive the Chancellor’s medal, I am very delighted that my work is held in such high regard,” Dr Böhm said.

“I really want to focus on extending my knowledge in further advanced methods so that later I can apply it to a specific research area. I am particularly interested in influenza virus.”

During his time at Griffith’s Institute for Glycomics , Dr Böhm was involved in a project which explored how rotavirus, a leading cause of severe diarrhoea in children, attacks cells through carbohydrate present on a child’s intestinal cells.

Another project looked at the molecular characteristics of ferrets to show similarities to humans when infected by influenza A virus.

Dr Böhm is one of Griffith’s highest achieving PhD graduates and the Griffith Sciences Group’s top ranked candidate for 2014.

Institute for Glycomics Director, and Dr Böhm’s Principal supervisor, Professor Mark von Itzstein said Dr Böhm’s research work had made significant contributions in fighting infectious diseases.

“High quality students like Dr Böhm is what helps make our Institute a global leader in infectious disease research,” he said.

The Institute for Glycomics, based at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus, is the only one of its kind in Australia and only one of six in the world.