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IHWR student secures international scholarship opportunity


A PhD student has been awarded a highly-prestigious scholarship opportunity to undertake a six-month pharmacology-based research project in Melbourne, Australia. 

Lisa MichelLisa Michel has been selected by the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program – the Endeavour Award – which provides opportunities for foreign students to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia. 

She embarks on her scholarship programme tomorrow (14 June), having just completed her PhD within RGU’s Institute for Health and Welfare Research (IHWR).

Lisa (25), from Prestwick, Ayrshire, originally discovered the Endeavour programme in summer 2010 when she was in Copenhagen attending a conference. While there, she met an Endeavour holder alumnus who told her about the program.

The application process, which began in spring 2011, required Lisa to submit details of her academic and research-based achievements, as well as a detailed description of a proposed research project to undertake during the scholarship period. Her sponsor and host for the project is Dr Rebecca Ritchie who Lisa met at RGU in September when she travelled to the UK to deliver a research seminar at the IHWR.

Following an in-depth analysis of Lisa’s application by two separate panels, Lisa was accepted for the scholarship and received news of her success in November 2011.

While in Australia, Lisa will be working with the heart failure pharmacology group at the world renowned Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute, an independent research institute in Melbourne. The focus of her project is to characterise a novel drug for the treatment of diabetes-induced heart failure. The promising agent has already been identified by the research institute, and therefore Lisa’s role will be to characterise its mechanism and effectiveness.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with Dr Ritchie’s team on this interesting research project,” says Lisa. “I couldn't quite believe it when I was told I'd been successful. I'm really excited and feel very privileged to have been given this opportunity.”

The project follows on from Lisa’s PhD which focused on the beneficial effects of fish oils in cardiovascular disease and was funded by the British Heart Foundation.

Professor Cherry Wainwright, Director of IHWR, has been Lisa’s advisor throughout her PhD. Commenting on Lisa’s selection for the prestigious scholarship she said: “Lisa has been an excellent student throughout her PhD and has developed into a young scientist with great aptitude and a promising future in research.  I am delighted about Lisa’s Award and I am very proud to have played a part in her training and development”

Upon completing her Australian experience, Lisa plans to return to the UK to continue research within the field of cardiovascular pharmacology.

Notes to editor

  • The Endeavour Awards is the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program providing opportunities for citizens of the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia. www.innovation.gov.au/Endeavour
  • The Institute for Health and Welfare Research is a multi-disciplinary research centre that focuses its activities on addressing major issues around the diagnosis and prevention of illness, and the treatment, care and welfare of patients. Researchers are currently carrying out pioneering cross-disciplinary work in areas including diabetes, heart disease, chronic back pain and bereavement. www.rgu.ac.uk/research/research-institutes/institute-for-health-and-welfare-research
  • Baker IDI Heart And Diabetes Institute was formed by the 2009 merger of two separate organisations – The Baker Heart Research Institute (BHRI) and the International Diabetes Institute(IDI). www.bakeridi.edu.au

Andrew Youngson
Communications Officer | Faculty of Health and Social Care
Robert Gordon University

Schoolhill
Aberdeen
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262389
Email: a.c.youngson@rgu.ac.uk