Philanthropic support building our research expertise

A collection of researchers will develop their skills and establish crucial new collaborations following generous funding through the Skipper Charitable Trust.

Six researchers have received a 2024 Beryl and Jack Jacobs Travel Award, enabling them to travel for conferences and work with experts across the globe.

Academic Director Professor James Elliott was thrilled to announce the successful recipients, saying each researcher demonstrated how their travel opportunity will broaden their research expertise and lead to exciting new progress.

Dr Karen Bracken from the Osteoarthritis Clinical Research Group will travel to the University of Bristol to work with the team at the renowned Bristol Trials Centre. There she will gain a better understanding of recent advances in clinical trials, directly supporting her role as a clinical trials program lead.

Dr Barbara Lucas from the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research will attend the Australasian Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine Conference in Cairns to present her ground-breaking research from the Best START trial into early intervention in children with Cerebral Palsy.

Dr Vicky Duong from the Osteoarthritis Clinical Research Group will travel to the United States and Canada to work with researchers at Harvard University, the University of North Carolina and the University of Toronto. This is set to be a valuable opportunity for Vicky to expand her international networks following her successful Category I NHMRC funded project in Australia.

Brian Kim from the Neuromuscular Imaging Research Laboratory will visit the United States to work with colleagues at the Northwestern University in Chicago. Brian is establishing machine learning methods to automatically quantify the soft tissues of the shoulder in patients needing surgical repairs.

Dr Vibha Patil from the Meniere's Disease Neuroscience Lab will travel to Spain to build on her work into the genetics of Meniere's Disease, a debilitating disorder of the inner ear.

Amanda Purcell, a PhD student in the Renal Laboratory, will also travel to Spain and the UK to further her studies around predicting gestational diabetes in early pregnancy. Amanda is set to learn cutting-edge techniques, complementing her growing knowledge in this field and strong analytical skills.

Professor Elliott said these opportunities would not be possible without the financial boost delivered through the Skipper Charitable Trust.

“I would like to thank the family behind the trust for their wonderful ongoing support of our early and mid-career researchers,” he said.

“Their help is directly strengthening our research expertise and increasing our long term impact.”