Institute for Glycomics celebrates research excellence and 20th anniversary

Some of Griffith University’s most outstanding researchers have been honoured at the Institute for Glycomics Research Excellence Awards evening.

Attended by more than one hundred guests, the aim of the cocktail-style presentation event was to acknowledge the Institute’s excellent research achievements and celebrate a remarkable milestone, the Institute for Glycomics 20th Anniversary.

Awards from the following schemes were presented at the event:

  1. 2020 Glycomics Research Excellence Awards
  2. 2020 Glycomics Honours Scholarships
  3. 2020 Glycomics Masters Scholarship
  4. 2019/2020 Bendigo Bank Paradise Point Glycomics Summer Scholarships

2020 Glycomics Research Excellence Awards

Every year the Institute for Glycomics conducts the Glycomics Research Excellence Awards scheme to acknowledge and reward outstanding researchers in a number of categories.

Winners from these categories will go on to compete in the Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Awards scheme, alongside other researchers from various institutions across Griffith University.

The Glycomics Research Excellence Awards were presented by Mr Pat Crotty, Deputy Chair of the Institute’s Board of Advice.

The winners:

Excellence in Higher Degree Research — The Director’s Medal: Dr Jessica Poole

Dr Jessica Poole received this prestigious Institute for Glycomics award in recognition of her excellence in Higher Degree Research, and her significant research in the characterisation and utilisation of the multiple lectin domains of human complement receptor 3.

“It was exciting to receive the 2020 Glycomics Director’s Medal. It was a great way to finish off my time as a student at the Institute,” said Dr Poole.

Mr Pat Crotty and Dr Jessica Poole

Excellence in an Early Career Researcher: Dr Farhadul Islam

Dr Farhadul Islam received this award in recognition of his excellent performance in research, working on cancer biology, drug development and delivery, molecular marker development for various cancers. Dr Islam wins $3,000 towards any Griffith University approved research activity.

“As an Early Career Researcher, I am honoured and thankful to be recognised by the Institute for the works I am passionate about; it will give me more confidence in shaping my future career,” said Dr Islam.

Mr Pat Crotty and Dr Farhadul Islam

Excellence in a Mid-Career Researcher: Dr Manisha Pandey

Dr Manisha Pandey received this award in recognition of her research commitment focussing on the development of a vaccine and an immunotherapeutic to combat infections with Streptococcus A, a bacterium responsible for significant mortality. Dr Pandey wins $3,000 towards any Griffith University approved research activity.

“I am extremely proud and deeply humbled to have received this award. It recognises the commitment and passion for the research I do and also acknowledges the support from my mentor and my team without whom it wouldn’t have been possible,” said Dr Pandey.

Mr Pat Crotty and Dr Manisha Pandey

Excellence Award for Research Supervision: Professor Mark von Itzstein AO

Professor Mark von Itzstein AO received this award in recognition of his significant contributions to developing a strong and successful research culture by the supervision and mentoring of both national and international Higher Degree Research students.

“I am humbled by this award and thank all of the many co-supervisors that have made such a major contribution to the mentoring of my Group’s research students. Training the next generation of researchers is such an important aspect of my work and I am so grateful to have had so many passionate students,” said Professor von Itzstein AO.

Mr Pat Crotty and Professor Mark von Itzstein AO

Excellence in Research Engagement: Professor Michael Good AO

Professor Michael Good AO was honoured with this award in recognition of his exceptional engagement with industry and charitable groups for his internationally-recognised research on the development of vaccines for malaria and Streptococcus A.

“I was very humbled to receive the Excellence in Research Engagement award and would like to thank and acknowledge the very significant contributions of my laboratory staff and students and the business and commercialisation team of the Institute. It is a privilege to work in an Institute with such a great commitment to improving human health,” said Professor Good AO.

Mr Pat Crotty and Professor Michael Good AO

Excellence in Research Leadership: Professor Sue Berners-Price

Professor Sue Berners-Price was honoured with this award in recognition of her significant contributions as a world leader in the field of medicinal inorganic chemistry, and for spearheading the development of a new area of endeavour – metalloglycomics.

“I am delighted to receive this award. I would like to thank the Institute Director for his vision and leadership and for encouraging me to join the Institute and establish this new endeavour of metalloglycomics. I would also like to acknowledge Dr Anil Gorle for his contribution to this exciting theme of research and my long-standing collaborator, Professor Nicholas Farrell from the Virginia Commonwealth University,” said Professor Berners-Price.

Mr Pat Crotty and Professor Sue Berners-Price

2020 Glycomics Honours Scholarships

2020 Sally & Warren von Bibra Honours Scholarship

The 2020 Sally & Warren von Bibra Honours Scholarship was awarded to Ms Holly O’Donnell for her project titled “Glycobiology of Pathogenic Fungi” supervised by Associate Professor Joe Tiralongo.

Sally & Warren von Bibra are avid supporters of the Institute’s research and have generously supported this prestigious Honours Scholarship scheme since 2003. Ms O’Donnell wins a $6,000 scholarship for the year of her research program.

The award was presented by Mr Wade von Bibra on behalf of Sally & Warren von Bibra.

Mr Wade von Bibra and Ms Holly O’Donnell

2020 Glycomics Circle Honours Scholarships

The Glycomics Circle was established in 2015 and is a group of successful women in the local community who are driven to raising funds for the Institute for Glycomics, in particular to support young women in science. One of their interests is to contribute funds to the Glycomics Honours Scholarship scheme. Each of the recipients win a $5,000 scholarship for the year of their research program.

These awards were presented by The Honourable Ms Leneen Forde AC on behalf of the Glycomics Circle.

The winners:

Ms Laura Blechner: for her project titled “Pre-entry priming of HIV — redefining the entry process of virus for the development of a novel HIV vaccine and defining the virus entry processes” supervised by Professor Johnson Mak and Dr Belinda de Villiers.

The Honourable Ms Leneen Forde AC and Ms Laura Blechner

Ms Rose Manakil: for her project titled “Levitating Ionised Yeast Cells in a Linear Ion Trap” supervised by Associate Professor Erik Streed.

The Honourable Ms Leneen Forde AC and Ms Rose Manakil

2020 Glycomics Masters Scholarship

The Glycomics Masters Scholarship is a new scholarship scheme established in 2020 to provide support to an outstanding student who is undertaking their Masters program within the Institute for Glycomics.

This prestigious scholarship was awarded to Mr Jason Lee for his project titled “Neutrophil responses to Vibrio cholerae signalling molecules” supervised by Dr Ian Peak. Mr Lee wins a $5,000 scholarship for the period of their research program.

The award was presented by Professor Victoria Korolik, Associate Director, Education & Engagement at the Institute for Glycomics.

Professor Korolik and Mr Jason Lee

2019/2020 Bendigo Bank Paradise Point Glycomics Summer Scholarships

The Glycomics Summer Scholarship scheme provides second- and third-year undergraduates with an opportunity to discover the exciting world of research.

The scheme has been running since 2005, with at least a third of scholarship recipients going on to complete an Honours/Masters or PhD program. In 2020 the Paradise Point Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank is the generous supporter of our Summer Scholarship scheme. The recipients each receive a $1,000 scholarship and undertake a minimum of four weeks, full-time research experience.

The awards were presented by Mr Tony Jensen, Senior Manager, Bendigo Bank Paradise Point.

The winners: Kisshanpyar Anand, Neeraj Bhatnagar, Peter Blakeley, Riccardo Cecchin, Alasta Firkins, Stephen Jiang, Ropafadzo Muchabaiwa, Nayma Tarik, and Huaying Xu

Bendigo Bank Paradise Point Glycomics Summer Scholarship Winners

Acknowledgement of the Glycomics Champions

Also acknowledged on the night were the members of the Glycomics Champions Program, which is a community outreach training and engagement program established in 2019. It provides Higher Degree Research students and research staff with an opportunity to reach out to the broader community and attract high quality research students by hosting tours and promoting the Institute’s remarkable research. The Champions were acknowledged and thanked for their contributions to this very successful program.

The Institute’s Glycomics Champions:

Kathirvel Alagesan, Michael Batzloff, Vimbaishe Chibanga, Hadieh Eslampanah, Arun Everest-Dass, Dylan Farr, Johnson Mak, Tamim Mosaiab, Joanna Musik, Tiago Oliveira, Victoria Ozberk, Manisha Pandey, Evgeny Semchenko, Lucy Shewell, Catherine Tindal, Kathirvel Alagesan, Ibrahim El-Deeb, Danielle Stanisic, Jack Everson, and Oren Cooper.

Glycomics Champions