Athena Brunt named 2015 Enid Dowling Foundation Bursary recipient

Athena Brunt
School of Medical Science PhD student Athena Brunt named as the Enid Dowling Foundation Bursary recipient for 2015.

Congratulations to our doctoral student Athena Brunt who was named recipient of this year’s Enid Dowling Foundation Bursary. The Bursary gives a young person an opportunity to further their knowledge and leadership potential to the benefit of others. Athena epitomises what this Bursary is about and those present could not help but be inspired by her speech about the amazing medical research she’s involved in which has the potential to be life changing for millions of Australians.

“One of the objectives of the Enid Dowling Foundation is to support youth of courageous ambition. It is my life’s ambition to better the lives of others through medical research. This research is my first step towards achieving this mission, and I now have a very real chance of succeeding thanks to the generosity of the Enid Dowling Foundation and the Liberal National Party”

Athena Brunt, Liberal National Party Convention, July 2015.

Athena’s doctoral research seeks to revolutionise bone transplantation and transform orthopaedic surgery outcomes. Athena will use the Enid Dowling Foundation Bursary to travel to prestigious research institutes in Lyon, France, and Sydney, Australia to carry out vital research in support of her endeavours to transform bone transplantation, provide better surgery outcomes, and improve the lives of the millions of people who suffer from bone diseases, trauma, and cancer.

Firstly, Athena will travel to Lyon, France, where she will undertake research at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) — the INSERM is the premier national research institute of France, and here she will learn and practice new scientific methods in the very lab in which they were invented, under the direction of Prof Roland Chapurlat, head of the INSERM Unit 1033.

Secondly, Athena will travel to Sydney to undertake a xenograft implant study in Prof Bill Walsh’s Surgical and Orthopaedic Research Laboratory within the Prince of Wales Clinical School at the University of New South Wales.

The Enid Dowling Foundation Bursary has given Athena the opportunity to undertake these important experiments that are essential to completing her doctorate, and will provide networking opportunities with leading international researchers in the field. In addition to her research, Athena is passionate about science and health policy and believes that public engagement in science has never been more important. She hopes to use this opportunity to learn more about practical medical research, international scientific collaboration, and interact with leaders around the world to become a more informed policy contributor in Queensland.