Research Entry Scholarships

2020 recipients

Dr Ei Thu Aung
AChSHM Research Entry Scholarship ($20,900)
'Novel approaches to control of syphilis'

Dr Ei Thu AungDr Ei Thu Aung is a sexual health medicine physician and a general practitioner, with a strong interest in clinical epidemiology and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. She graduated from medical school at the University of Auckland and subsequently undertook dual training in general practice and sexual health medicine in Australia. Her PhD research with Monash University focuses on control of syphilis, particularly assessing the novel strategies for early detection of infectious syphilis.

Dr Allison Anne Barraclough
RACP Fellows Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
'Follicular lymphoma: novel approaches to improving the diagnostic and treatment paradigm'

Dr Allison BarracloughDr Allison Barraclough graduated from the University of Notre Dame and completed postgraduate training at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth, WA. She is now undertaking an Advanced Fellowship in lymphoma at the world-renowned Austin Hospital and Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute in Melbourne. Allison is an early career researcher and has been awarded the RACP Fellows Research Entry Scholarship to conduct her research investigating novel approaches to improving the diagnosis and treatment paradigm in follicular lymphoma. She has a strong interest in immune manipulation in the treatment of lymphoma. She was lead author on several publications and has presented her findings at both international and national conferences. She has been successful recipient of the Austin Medical Research Foundation Grant and has been awarded the American Society of Haematology Abstract Achievement Award. Allison educates trainee haematologists about lymphoma and clinical research and speaks regularly at local, national and international meetings.

Dr Ming-Yu (Anthony) Chuang
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Research Entry Scholarship ($30,000)
'Optimising application of high-sensitivity troponin in clinical practice'

Dr Anthony ChuangDr Anthony (Ming-yu) Chuang is an Advanced Trainee in cardiology working at the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Southern Adelaide Health Service. He obtained his MBBS at the University of New South Wales and a Master of Medicine Degree in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Sydney. Anthony is a PhD student and currently holds an appointment as a lecturer with the School of Medicine, Flinders University. HIs main interests are high-sensitivity troponin, acute coronary syndrome, quantitative methods, and using large data and novel methods to answer challenging clinical questions.

Dr Nattakorn Dhiantravan
Arnott Research Entry Scholarship in Cancer Research ($45,000)
'Role of Lutetium-177 Radiolabeled Small Molecule Targeting Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) as an Early Treatment Option in Prostate Cancer'

Dr Nattakorn DhiantravanDr Nattakorn Dhiantravan is an early career nuclear medicine physician and a PhD student at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the University of Melbourne. He has a strong interest in applying molecular imaging and theranostics strategy to provide precise diagnosis and treatment of cancer as well as to improve our understanding of tumour biology. He completed his fellowship in Positron Emission Tomography Imaging and Targeted Radionuclide Therapy at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne. Nattakorn trained as a Basic Trainee at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide, where he also started his Advanced Training in Nuclear Medicine before completing subsequent training at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney. He graduated from Flinders University School of Medicine.


Dr Sebastian Hultin
Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
'Chronic Allograft Fibrosis and Rejection Biomarker Study'

Dr Sebastian HultinDr Sebastian Hultin is a nephrologist and PhD student at University of Sydney. Following a degree in medical biochemistry at King’s College School of Life Sciences, he obtained his medical degree at University of London at Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals. Sebastian completed training at St George Hospital, Sydney and was admitted as a Fellow of the RACP in nephrology in 2019, following training at the East Coast Renal Network Sydney, and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s and Princess Alexandra Hospitals. Building on his interest in basic science research, Sebastian first collaborated with QIMR Berghofer clinical laboratory using multi-colour flow cytometry to investigate pathophysiological signatures involved in renal transplant rejection, identifying a novel role for CD56bright NK cells, prior to starting PhD work on biomarkers to identify patients at risk of rejection and early allograft fibrosis at Westmead Institute for Clinical Research. Acknowledging the need for individualised strategies in transplantation medicine, Sebastian’s aim is to bring about personalised medicine in both transplantation and nephrology and continues to work as a clinician-scientist towards this goal.

Dr Georgina Laura Irish
Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
'Decision Making in Kidney Transplantation'

Dr Georgina IrishDr Georgina Irish is an Australian nephrologist. She completed her Basic Physician Training in Adelaide and undertook her nephrology training at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre before moving to Oxford, United Kingdom. She is undertaking her Master of Clinical Epidemiology through the University of Sydney. Georgina’s PhD is on 'Decision making in Kidney transplantation', where she will be using epidemiological registry data to help inform decisions around kidney transplantation, and create decision aids to make these data informed intelligence available to the patient and clinician at the point of care.

Dr Kushani Chamindira Jayasinghe
Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
'Clinical utility and feasibility of clinical Whole Exome Sequencing in patients inherited kidney disease'

Dr Kushani JayasingheDr Kushani Jayasinghe is an adult nephrologist based at Monash Health with an interest in genetic kidney disease. She completed her medical degree from Monash University in 2010 and commenced Basic Physician Training at Monash Health. Kushani undertook Advanced Training in Nephrology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney and Monash Health, Victoria. During this time, she recognized the fundamental role of research to guide clinical care, which led her to complete a Master of Medicine (Clinical Epidemiology) before being admitted as a Fellow of the RACP in 2017. Her PhD program at the Monash Clinical School and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute will investigate the clinical utility and cost effectiveness of whole exome sequencing in patients with inherited kidney disease.

Dr Prasanti Kotagiri
Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
A biomarker and pathway discovery program in autoimmune renal diseases

Dr Prasanti Kotagiri

Dr Prasanti Kotagiri completed her medical degree and holds a MBBS (Hons) and BMedSc (Hons) from Monash University. She completed her Internship and Basic Physician Training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and undertook her Nephrology Advanced Training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Eastern Health. Prasanti is currently undertaking a PhD at Cambridge University studying the immune cell transcriptome in ANCA vasculitis and SLE. Prasanti’s PhD focuses on identifying markers that predict clinical phenotype or outcomes, using novel analytic approaches developed using statistical modeling of complex biomedical data. This ultimately will lead to the development of clinically applicable prognostic and diagnostic tools. She is a select member of the Cambridge University's Hughes Hall Impact Leadership Program, which is designed to help students develop the skills to have successful careers in science post-completion of their PhD. Prasanti is also the Renal Clinical Teaching Fellow at Addenbrookes Hospital. 

Dr Rowena Lalji
Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
'The impact of social disparity on access to care and overall health outcomes of children with chronic kidney disease'

Dr Rowena LaljiDr Rowena Lalji is paediatric nephrologist and PhD candidate at the Centre for Kidney Research based in Brisbane, Australia. She completed her Basic Training and early nephrology career in Brisbane before moving to London in 2016 to complete her specialist training at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. In 2018, Rowena was admitted as a Fellow of the RACP in paediatric nephrology and spent six months working at Starship Children’s Hospital in New Zealand before returning home to work at Queensland Children’s Hospital in early 2019. Her PhD focuses on the impact of social disparity on access to care and overall health outcomes of children with chronic kidney disease. Rowena is an International Society of Nephrology Fellow 2018 – 2020, the first paediatric-specific ambassador to be awarded this honour.

Dr Tom Nevlin Lea-Henry
Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
'Investigating the genetic basis of chronic kidney disease in Tiwi Islanders'

Dr Tom Lea-HenryDr Tom Lea-Henry obtained his medical degree from the University of Queensland in 2010 and undertook Basic Physician Training at The Townsville and Canberra Hospitals. In 2017, he was admitted as a Fellow of the RACP in nephrology, having completed Advanced Training at the Canberra and John Hunter Hospitals. Tom will commence research towards his PhD through the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University in 2020. His PhD will investigate the genetic and molecular basis of kidney disease among Tiwi Islanders and other Indigenous Australians. This will form the basis for using precision medicine techniques to search for novel therapeutic interventions. Tom has a range of research interests including kidney disease in Indigenous Australian populations, autoimmune kidney disease, and the translational application of precision medicine and pharmacokinetics.

Dr Michal Lubomski
RACP Fellows Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
'Parkinson’s disease and the gastrointestinal microbiome'

Dr Michal LubomskiDr Michal Lubomski is a neurologist with a specialist interest in movement disorders, particularly in the use of device assisted therapies for Parkinson’s disease. He is completing his doctoral studies investigating the gastrointestinal microbiome in Parkinson’s disease at Kolling Institute, University of Sydney. His research evaluates the complex relationships between the human gastrointestinal microbiome and Parkinson’s disease, assessing microbiota changes in relation to differing standard and advanced therapies as well as various clinical outcomes that may predispose to α-synuclein aggregation in the enteric nervous system and subsequent spread to the brain. Michal completed his medical degree at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney and undertook his Advanced Training in Neurology at St Vincent’s Hospital, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and subsequently his Fellowship at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. He has undertaken subspecialty training in movement disorders, neurogenetics, neuromuscular diseases as well as neurophysiology with botulinum toxin injection. Michal is a locum neurologist at Royal North Shore Hospital and a Visiting Medical Officer at North Shore Private Hospital.

Dr Alicia Montgomery
RACP Fellows Research Entry Scholarship ($24,000)
'Integrating Behavioural, Neurocognitive and Biomarker Profiles to Identify Homogeneous Subgroups in Autism and Inform Targeted Treatment Approaches'

Dr Alicia MontgomeryDr Alicia Montgomery is an academic developmental paediatrician, whose primary focus is on the biopsychosocial basis of neurodevelopmental disorders and heterogeneity in Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is recipient of an Autism CRC Utilisation Grant that will enable access to phenotypic data and biological specimens within the Australian Autism Biobank. She is currently involved in updating the Cochrane systematic review of 'Overall Prognosis of Preschool Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnoses' and is also undertaking a systematic review of empirical subgroups in ASD. Alicia is an investigator on a study of sensory subtypes in children with autism through the Autism CRC and UNSW, and is a Co-Investigator on two international randomized controlled trials – the Study of Bumetanide in Paediatric Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Phase III) and the Study of Deutetrabenazine for the Treatment of Tourette Syndrome in Paediatric Patients (Phase II). She collaborates with the Veenstra-VanderWeele Lab at the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain – Columbia University New York, where she was a Visiting Research Scholar from 2016 to 2017. There, Alicia coordinated several randomized controlled trials for children with ASD, and assisted in establishing a Neurodevelopmental Disorders Biorepository designed to identify genetic variation and biomarkers in these conditions.

Dr Yassmin Musthaffa
New Zealand Fellows Research Entry Scholarship (NZ$45,000)
'Identification of Children with Type 1 Diabetes Suitable for Antigen-specific Tolerising Immunotherapy: T-cell response to Pro-insulin'

Dr Yassmin MusthaffaDr Yassmin Musthaffa graduated from the University of Auckland, Faculty of Medicine in 2008 and was admitted as a Fellow of the RACP in general paediatrics and paediatric endocrinology in 2018. She is closely involved in the clinical care of children with type 1 diabetes while learning the language and tools required to preserve pancreatic beta-cell function, which is her main area of research interest. As part of her PhD, she has worked with a team to develop an immune biomarker that has the potential to predict current and future insulin-beta cell function. This biomarker has the potential to greatly advance our understanding of the factors contributing to beta-cell destruction in type 1 diabetes, as well as support the development of an antigen-specific immunotherapy for paediatric type 1 diabetes. Alongside this, Yassmin practices clinical endocrinology at the Queensland Children’s hospital and is involved in establishing paediatric diabetes services at Logan Children’s hospital where she also works as a general paediatrician.

Dr Simon Paul Paget
RACP AFRM Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
'The interrelationship between early life determinants, health service utilisation and hip health in childhood cerebral palsy'

Dr Simon PagetDr Simon Paget is a paediatric rehabilitation medicine physician. He trained in paediatrics and rehabilitation in London and Sydney. He has worked as a staff specialist at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, New South Wales since 2012, where he leads the cerebral palsy and movement disorders service at the Kids Rehab clinic. Simon has a strong clinical background in the rehabilitation of children with congenital and acquired neurological disorders, with particular interests in the treatment of childhood movement disorders and delivery of health services for this group. He is passionate about improving the quality and safety of patient care. This is reflected in his research interests which focus on safety and efficacy of rehabilitation treatments, quality of health service delivery and assessment and treatment of pain of children with cerebral palsy. Simon is a member of the AFRM Paediatric Training and Assessment Committee and Accreditation Committee and a board member of the Australasian Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine.

Dr Dharmenaan Palamuthusingam
Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
'Perioperative outcomes of patients on chronic renal replacement therapy'

Dr Dharmenaan PalamuthusingamDr Dharmenaan Palamuthusingam is a consultant nephrologist at Logan and Princess Alexandra Hospitals in Queensland. He also works as a visiting nephrologist to the Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence in Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander Primary Health Care. He holds an academic appointment as a senior lecturer in Clinical Medicine with the University of Queensland and Griffith University. Dharmenaan is currently undertaking his PhD with University of Queensland looking at the perioperative outcomes and risk assessment of people on chronic dialysis and kidney transplant recipients who undergo surgery. He has presented his research at national and international conferences and has received both local and national awards for his work.

Dr Karrnan Pathmanandavel
RACP Fellows Research Entry Scholarship ($21,000)
'Revealing the molecular mechanisms of human B cell memory in health and disease with single-cell RNA-sequencing'

Dr Karrnan Pathmanandavel is an Advanced Trainee in Clinical Iimmunology and Allergy and Immunopathology, and is commencing a PhD (UNSW) at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. He obtained his MBBS and MPhil at the University of Sydney before completing Basic Paediatrician Training and commencing his Advanced Training at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. His previous research in immunology and basic science has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals. Karrnan’s PhD project aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underpinning immunologic memory by applying single-cell RNA sequencing to carefully defined and phenotyped clinical cohorts. This supports his long-term interest in developing precision mechanism-based approaches for patients with immune dysregulatory conditions, including primary immunodeficiency and autoimmunity. 

Dr Michelle Scoullar
Basser Research Entry Scholarship ($45,000)
'Identifying and ranking the drivers of reduced birth weight in Papua New Guinea'

Dr Michelle ScoullarDr Michelle Scoullar is an international health specialist with extensive experience in health system strengthening, health worker training, maternal, newborn and child health, and operational and implementation research. She is currently an Advanced Trainee in general paediatrics and neonatal and perinatal medicine, with additional postgraduate qualifications in international health and obstetrics and gynaecology. Michelle is a Principal Investigator on the Burnet Institute’s flagship Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies (HMHB) program, based in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and a PhD candidate. Her most significant contribution was the establishment of the HMHB field site that included the cementing of all key partnerships, the establishment of a physical office, the building of a research laboratory and the hiring, training and management of an administrative and technical research team. Michelle has managed the successful completion of a large longitudinal cohort study, which is the first of its kind in PNG, following women and their infant from early pregnancy through to 12 months postpartum. The Basser Research Entry Scholarship will support Michelle’s PhD work, focusing particularly on her project ‘Identifying and ranking the drivers of reduced birth weight in Papua New Guinea.’

Past recipients
Research Entry Scholarships

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