Melbourne celebrates its new McKenzie Fellows

April 14 / 132

Front row: Professor James McCluskey, Professor John McKenzie, Professor Julie Willis and Professor Liz Sonenberg with the 2013 McKenzie Fellows
Front row: Professor James McCluskey, Professor John McKenzie, Professor Julie Willis and Professor Liz Sonenberg with the 2013 McKenzie Fellows

The University has officially welcomed its new McKenzie Fellows at a lunch with renowned geneticist Professor John McKenzie, whom the scholarships honour, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor James McCluskey and senior staff.

The fellowships invite outstanding postdoctoral researchers from outside the University to conduct research for up to three years.

Eleven researchers were selected from a field of 170 applicants. The new fellows were chosen not only on the basis of their excellent scholarship, but also their ability to contribute to the University’s cross-disciplinary research priorities. 

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Julie Willis said she was excited at the range of talent the McKenzie Fellowships had brought to the University.

"It’s about building our research base, bringing in new blood and increasing the breadth of experience at the University with a very competitive scheme,” she said. 

"Bringing this level of internationalisation into early career research capability is very important to us."

The Fellowship also celebrates the contribution Professor John McKenzie made to the University, both as Dean of Science and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). 

“It is very fitting to have his name appended to the scheme as he has always been interested in the next generations of scholars,” Professor Willis said. 

“In that spirit, this is about fostering the next generation of professors in this institution; saying ‘we want the best and brightest to come and work with us, and we are prepared to invest our money in that.’”

McKenzie Fellow Dr Iman Shames began his study in Iran before being awarded a PhD in Engineering and Computer Science by the Australian National University. He joins the University after several years’ work in Sweden. 

His project, Ensuring Security and Resilience in Critical Cyber-physical Systems, aims to safeguard the security of critical infrastructure against both failures and cyber-attacks.

“I was lucky to be given this opportunity, and hopefully I'm going to deliver on the promise of the fellowship,” he said.

Fellow Dr Kim Dalziel was awarded a PhD in Health Economics by the University of South Australia. Her research, The application of health economic principles to clinical trial design and evaluation: working exemplars across disease areas including kidney disease and diabetes aims to increase efficiency in expensive clinical trials.

“Looking at the trials from an economic perspective will allow us to conduct them more efficiently and gain better value from the investment that's made in that research,” she said. 

Dr Dalziel said the fellowship provides her with opportunities to advance both her research area and her career.

“It provides that foundation that I can build on to be competitive for future fellowships and grants and to build my career in that way,” she said. 

“Without the fellowship that wouldn’t have been possible.”

Dr Shames and Dr Dalziel were joined on the day by seven further McKenzie Fellows:

Marissa Caldow, PhD (Deakin University), is working at the Department of Physiology on Anti-inflammatory Amino Acids to Counteract Muscle Wasting.

Marco Lista, PhD (University of Geneva Geneva), is working at the School of Chemistry on From the Nanoscale to Complexity: Self-Assembly in Chemical Systems.

Markus Müllner, PhD summa cum laude (Bayreuth University), is working at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering on Cylindrical Polymer Brush Nanoparticles - New one-dimensional nanostructures for improved drug delivery.

Zim Nwokora, DPhil (University of Oxford), is working at the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies on Developing Party Systems for New Democracies: A Constitutional Solution.

Laura Panza, PhD (La Trobe University), is working at the Department of Economics on Market integration and economic development in the Middle East during the interwar era.

Rose Parfitt, PhD (SOAS, University of London), is working at the Institute for International Law and the Humanities on "We will give you another law and another king": Facism, Empire and International Community.

Willem van den Heuvel, PhD (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Department of Chemistry on Low-dimensional molecular magnetism: Lanthanide nanomagnets on graphene.

Two Fellows gave their apologies:

Clement Menuet, PhD (Aix-Marseille University), is working at the Department of Physiology on Using optogenetics and selective viral transduction to understand the physiopathology of brain networks involved in cardiorespiratory coupling.

Aung Si, PhD (Australian National University), is working at the School of Languages and Linguistics on A cross linguistic investigation of honeybee knowledge in Indigenous northern Australian communities.




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