Five of Victoria's outstanding early-career scientists from the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct have been chosen as International Research Scholars to take their groundbreaking research across the globe.

Scientists from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Walter and Eliza Institute of Medical Research, The Doherty Institute and the University of Melbourne's Bio21 Institute were chosen out of 1400   applicants from around the world. Five of the six scholarships awarded to Australian scientists went to our very own Melbourne-based recipients – proving once again that Victoria is a world-leader and powerhouse in biomedical research.

Awarded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the scholarships will fund each researcher A$650,000 over five years to drive their biomedical research forward worldwide.

Melbourne Biomedical Precinct Office will provide further support to the scholars, with mentoring and networking opportunities.

The Office – established in 2016 –  aims to drive economic development in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct, and strengthen its position as a world leader in research, development and innovation. Executive Chair Dr Gareth Goodier is leading the development of a 20-year plan in partnership with the hospitals, universities and research bodies in the Precinct, and government bodies.

Melbourne's outstanding early-career HHMI International Scholarship recipients are:

  • Mark Dawson MD, PhD, from Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute is searching for ways to wipe out malignant stem cells.
  • Kathryn Holt, PhD, from University of Melbourne wants to understand what makes pathogens emerge, and why some become resistant to antimicrobial drugs.
  • Laura Mackay, PhD, from University of Melbourne, wants to harness tissue-resident memory T cells to create new therapies for infectious disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. 
  • Seth Masters, PhD, from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, uses personalised medicine to identify genetic changes that cause severe inflammatory diseases early in life.  
  • Wai-Hong Tham, PhD, from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research wants to understand how Plasmodium vivax, the dominant malaria parasite in countries outside of sub-Saharan Africa, recognizes and invades red blood cells inside the human body.

The Melbourne Biomedical Precinct, on the edge of Melbourne's city centre, has established itself as a leading global research and teaching powerhouse and one of the top five biomedical precincts in the world. 

Precinct partners share a formidable history of ground-breaking medical discoveries and developments, as well as an exciting future focused on innovation and transformation in human healthcare.