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31 Jul 2023

Early career researchers awarded 2023 DMI Collaborative Grants

Six teams led by early and mid-career researchers (EMCRs) from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology (DMI) at the Doherty Institute have secured seed-funding for their projects through the 2023 DMI Collaborative Grants. 

The DMI Collaborative Grant program aims to kick-start new ideas and increase collaboration and cross-fertilisation of technology and ideas within the Department. The scheme presents the opportunity for early and mid-career DMI researchers to develop their own unique and exciting ideas, while leveraging the breadth of expertise in the Department. 

“These awards encourage bold and ambitious thinking. Their outcomes can lead to crucial new data, models, and technical approaches that can support future grant applications, as well as having wider benefits for the entire Department,” said University of Melbourne Professor Christopher McDevitt, Head of Research at DMI and Lab Head at the Doherty Institute. 

“This year, the Department awarded six Collaborative Grants. While all applications were impressive, and we hope to encourage further submissions in future rounds, the successful applicants showed remarkable ambition with their research plans. 

“Congratulations to the successful teams! We look forward to hearing from them in 2024 to learn how these grants have progressed their collaborative research projects.” 

The 2023 DMI Collaborative Grants recipients are: 

  • Dr Lynette Beatie (Heath Lab) and Dr Annabell Bachem (Bedoui Lab) for their project “Interleukin-4 drives a unique activation phenotype in primary dendritic cells important for malaria control” 

  • Dr Glen Carter (Howden Lab) and Dr Vanessa Marcelino (Marcelino Lab) for their project “Defining how commensal gut bacteria can kill multidrug resistant pathogens” 

  • Dr Brendon Chua (Kedzierska Lab) and Dr Stephen Muhi (Howden Lab) for their project “Understanding immunity in a murine Buruli ulcer disease model for controlled human challenge trials” 

  • Dr Louise Rowntree (Kedzierska Lab) and Dr Julio Carrera Montoya (Mackenzie Lab) for their project “Understanding virology and immunology underlying severe and fatal Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) disease” 

  • Dr Philippa Saunders (Brooks Lab) and Dr Nichollas Scott (Scott Lab) for their project “It takes two to tango  – Understanding synergistic and competitive signalling in NK cells” 

  • Dr Callum Walsh (Stinear Lab), Dr Hamish McWilliam (Villadangos Lab) and Dr Tobias Poch (Mackay Lab) for their project “An improved capacity for interrogating microbiome-immune system interactions”