Research Entry Scholarships

2023 recipients

Dr Jessica Bindra

Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Research Entry Scholarship ($40,000)
‘Risk Prediction in Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1’

Jessica BindraDr Jessica Bindra is an Endocrinology Advanced Trainee and PhD candidate based at the Kolling Institute and the University of Sydney. She obtained her medical degree from the University of New South Wales before completing her RACP Basic Physician Training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in 2020. She undertook her first two years of Endocrinology advanced training at Blacktown Hospital and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Alongside this, she completed a Master of Medicine in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Sydney in 2021. She will be completing her third year of Endocrinology advanced training at Royal North Shore Hospital alongside her full-time PhD in 2023.

Jessica’s research focuses on improving screening and management protocols for patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1). She aims to create a novel Australian MEN1 database and utilise it to answer her research questions. She will also assess tumour biomarkers as exploratory endpoints, with the aim of developing a predictive risk tool that will help to identify patients at risk of death or metastases from MEN1-related tumours. Her research is ultimately aimed at improving the health-related quality of life in patients with MEN1, while also considering health economics for the healthcare system.

Dr Jonathan Bleasel

Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
‘Gene Expression Profiling in End Stage Kidney Disease to Predict Post-Transplant Outcomes’

Jonathan BleaselDr Jonathan Bleasel is a nephrologist with an interest in transplantation and immunology. He obtained his medical degree with honours from The University of New South Wales in 2014 and completed his basic physician and Nephrology training in Sydney and Dubbo.

Jonathan is undertaking a PhD at Cambridge University under the supervision of Professor Ken Smith and Dr Paul Lyons. His project will explore gene expression patterns in immune cells before and after kidney transplantation and correlate these with relevant clinical outcomes. This research seeks to uncover genomic predictors of rejection and infection in kidney transplant recipients and make progress toward enhanced personalised medicine in this field.

Dr Daniel Christiadi

Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($15,000)
‘Application of deep learning and machine learning in improving kidney care’

Daniel Christiadi

Daniel Christiadi completed his medical degree from Airlangga University, Indonesia. In 2011, Daniel started Basic Physician Training at Northwest Regional Hospital, Burnie. He then completed specialist training in Nephrology at The Canberra, Royal Darwin and Imperial College (UK) Hospitals.

Following Acute Kidney Injury Fellow at Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, in February 2021, Daniel started PhD at John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, studying the artificial intelligence application to improve the diagnosis and prediction of patients with kidney disease.

Dr Michael Cilento

RACP Fellows Research Entry Scholarship ($15,000) 
‘Identifying novel metabolic drivers of lethal prostate cancer’

Dr Michael Cilento

Dr Michael Cilento is a medical oncologist with a special interest in genitourinary tumours and molecularly targeted therapy. He graduated from the University of Adelaide and undertook physician training in South Australia, receiving the RACP Trainee Research Award in 2021. He then completed a fellowship at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre focused on early drug development and clinical trials.

Dr Cilento is now undertaking a PhD at the South Australian Immunogenomics Cancer Institute (SAiGENCI) in the University of Adelaide, looking to identify novel metabolic drivers of lethal prostate cancer.

Dr Paolo D’Ambrosio

RACP Fellows Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
‘Atrial remodelling and ectopy in athletes with atrial fibrillation’

Paolo D'AmbrosioDr Paolo D’Ambrosio is a consultant cardiologist with a special interest in heart rhythm disorders. After graduating from The University Of New South Wales with Academic Honours (Class I), Dr D’Ambrosio completed basic physician and cardiology advanced training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, NSW. He recently completed a 3-year fellowship at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in interventional cardiac electrophysiology, performing catheter-based interventions and cardiac device implantation for heart rhythm disorders.

At present, he is pursuing further sub-speciality training in cardiac electrophysiology with a PhD and clinical fellowship at Royal Melbourne Hospital in Victoria. In addition to building on his current skills in interventional electrophysiology & device implantation, he will undertake a PhD focusing on mechanisms, clinical predictors and treatment of atrial fibrillation associated with intense endurance exercise.

Dr Vanessa Heron

Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
‘Unbiased molecular analysis of urinary exosomes from women with pre-eclampsia’


Dr Vanessa Heron is a Nephrologist at Austin Health with an interest in obstetric medicine. She completed her medical degree at Monash University in 2013, graduating with honours. In 2020 she obtained her fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians having completed advanced training in nephrology at Toowoomba Hospital, Monash Health and Austin Health. She then undertook further training in obstetric medicine through Mercy Hospital for Women.

Vanessa is currently undertaking a PhD examining urinary exosomes in pre-eclamptic women with the Department of Medicine at Austin Health and University of Melbourne. Her research aims to help better understand the impact of pre-eclampsia on the kidney and how pre-eclampsia may be diagnosed or treated. Vanessa has been involved in clinical research throughout her career. She has presented at national and international conferences and has published peer-reviewed articles as well as a book chapter.

In 2018 she was awarded the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology Shaun Summers Clinical Trainee Award for her research. She is passionate about women's health and has a particular interest in the areas of obstetric nephrology, transplantation and chronic kidney disease.

Dr Kay Htaik

RACP Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine Research Entry Scholarship ($24,000)
‘Addressing knowledge gaps to improve the diagnosis, treatment and control of Mycoplasma genitalium, a highly antibiotic resistant STI’

Kay Htaik

Dr. Kay Htaik is a sexual health advanced trainee and PhD student based at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre and Monash University. She completed her Fellowship at the Royal Australasian College of General Pracitioners before undertaking advanced training in Sexual Health Medicine. She has clinical experiences in the area of HIV medicine, transgender and reproductive medicine.

She has also been involved in research focusing on partner notification, human papilloma virus infection and point-of-care STI testing. Her research will address critical knowledge gaps and provide essential data to inform testing and treatment strategies for Mycoplasma genitalium, with the aim of improving antimicrobial stewardship and cure.

Dr Jean Lu

RACP Fellows Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
‘Glucose Control with a Next Generation Hybrid Closed Loop (HCL) System in Adults with Diabetes and Advanced Renal Disease’

Jean Lu

Dr Jean Lu is an adult Endocrinologist and PhD student based at St. Vincent's Hospital Melbourne and The University of Melbourne. She obtained her medical degree from The University of Melbourne in 2013 before completing her Basic Physician Training at the Austin and Northern Hospitals in Melbourne. She then completed her specialist training in endocrinology at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, Western Health, Austin Health and Northern Health.

Jean's PhD is focused on diabetes technologies and their use to improve the quality of life and optimise diabetes management for those living with diabetes.

Dr Sofia Mason

RACP Fellows Research Entry Scholarship ($10,000)
‘Discovery and Targeting of Cell States in Glioblastoma’

Sofia Mason

Dr Sofia Mason graduated with distinction from UNSW in 2015. She undertook her junior medical training in Sydney LHD. Sofia is currently an advanced trainee in Medical Oncology with the RACP, and is due to complete her specialty training in early 2023.

She is currently undertaking a PhD at the Garvan Institute exploring cell plasticity and mechanisms of therapy resistance in glioblastoma. Her clinical interests include neuro-oncology and breast cancer. She has been involved in quality improvement and development activities with EviQ, Breast Cancer Trials, and the Co-operative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO).

Dr Lachlan McMichael

Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
‘Access to kidney transplantation – characterising demand and evaluating pre-transplant assessment’

Lachlan McMichael

Dr Lachlan McMichael is a kidney specialist & early career clinician-researcher. He is a PhD candidate at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and a research fellow at the University of British Columbia, Canada. His research program is focused on analysing international trends in wait-listing for kidney transplantation, developing administrative measures of eligibility for kidney transplantation in patients with kidney failure and assessing resource utilisation during evaluation for kidney transplantation.

Dr McMichael completed his medical degree at the University of Adelaide in 2013. He undertook Basic Physician Training at Central Adelaide Local Health Network and completed his Nephrology Advanced Training at the Central and Northern Adelaide Renal & Transplantation Service. He became a Fellow of the RACP in 2021.

Dr McMichael has completed clinical fellowships in Nephrology and Kidney Transplantation at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada between 2020-2022 and completed a Master of Medicine (Clinical Epidemiology) from the University of Sydney in 2022. Dr McMichael hopes his research will inform contemporary kidney transplant practice by reducing the current variation in approaches to kidney transplant evaluation and optimising resource utilisation.

Dr Mahendra Naidoo

RACP Fellows Research Entry Scholarship ($20,000)
‘Real world outcomes for women with Ovarian Cancer: Investigating quality of care using a Clinical Quality Registry’

Mahendra Naidoo

Dr Mahendra Naidoo is a Medical Oncologist with a sub-speciality interest in Gynaecological and Gastrointestinal cancers. He graduated from the University of Otago (NZ) and undertook physician training at Westmead Hospital (Sydney) and North Shore Hospital (NZ). He commenced specialty training in medical oncology at Waikato Hospital (NZ) followed by a 2 year sub-speciality fellowship at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre focussed on treatment of patients with Gynaecological and Gastrointestinal cancers.

Dr Naidoo is a Fulbright Scholar having completed a Masters in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University (2015) . He subsequently worked at the National Cancer Institute at the NIH in Maryland (USA) focussing on designing and reviewing cancer research grants. He is presently undertaking a PhD at Monash University's School of Public Health focussing on improving outcomes in Ovarian Cancer at the National Gynae-Oncology Registry (NGOR).

Dr Daniel O'Hara

Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
‘Improving the Standard of Care in Diabetic Kidney Disease’

Daniel O'Hara

Dr Daniel O'Hara is a nephrologist undertaking a PhD with the University of Sydney and the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre to explore strategies to improve the standard of care in diabetic kidney disease. His projects include extensive stakeholder engagement with patients and clinicians to investigate barriers to the effective management of diabetes and kidney disease, and the development and testing of interventions to support people living with diabetes, kidney disease and/or heart disease to more consistently use medications that can improve long-term outcome.

He has a keen interest in global health and implementation research to help close the evidence-practice gap in kidney health, including the pursuit of patient-important outcomes and patient-centred care. He is also the Co-ordinator and Lead Editor for the International Society of Nephrology Global Trials Focus, a monthly newsletter with an international audience, seeking to appraise and disseminate the latest clinical trials evidence in nephrology.

Dr Linny Kimly Phuong

RACP Fellows Research Entry Scholarship ($15,000)
‘Invasive pneumococcal disease in children’

Linny Kimly Phuong

Dr Linny Kimly Phuong is a Paediatric Infectious Diseases Physician with an interest in invasive pneumococcal disease.

Her research focuses on characterising the epidemiology, risk factors and management for pneumococcal infection within our local settings where there is high pneumococcal conjugate vaccine uptake.

Her research also explores IPD as a potential marker of immune deficiency and the cost-effectiveness of immunological work-up in these children.

Dr Nasir A. Shah

Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($15,000)
‘A change of heart: a prospective study assessing changes to cardiac function and endothelial signalling in patients starting haemodialysis’

Nasir Shah

Dr. Nasir A. Shah is an early career nephrologist and PhD Candidate at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Working at the intersection of vascular biology, nephrology, and engineering, his work focuses on high flow arteriovenous fistulas, the endothelial cell signaling that underpins their development, and their relationship with cardiovascular disease.

By merging novel additive manufacturing technologies with established biological science techniques, he looks to evaluate endothelial cell signalling using an innovative 3D mimic model based off true patient blood vessel geometries. Beyond the molecular basis of high flow fistula formation, he is interested in the cardiovascular implications of vascular access creation.

Having recruited a multi-disciplinary team including healthcare professionals, molecular scientists, and engineers he will use his PhD to foster cross-disciplinary relationships between researchers and clinicians to promote translational, collaborative work.

Dr Matthew Tunbridge

Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
‘Strategies to enhance transplantation tolerance’

Matthew Tunbridge

Dr Matthew Tunbridge received his medical degree from the University of Queensland in 2014. He received his nephrology fellowship in 2022 after training at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, and Royal Adelaide Hospital.

He completed a research fellowship year at the Royal Adelaide Hospital investigating vaccine immune responses in kidney transplant recipients. He is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Adelaide investigating immunosuppression strategies that promote immune tolerance of kidney transplants.

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