IHMRI Early Career Seed Funding.

Four researchers from the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) have received a share of $8000 from a number of anonymous donors.

The donors specified the money was to go towards four individual researchers in the early-stages of their career, and recognises their community support and engagement.

Dr. Jeremy Lum, who investigates neuropsychiatric disorders, was given $5000 towards his research. He said that the money has come at a pivotal moment in his career.

“Medical research is expensive and funding is limited. This generous donation will enable me to continue this important research. I’m looking to use my PhD training towards developing my own independent projects and make a significant contribution to this field of research,” said Jeremy.

Dr. Claire Stevens, who researches neurodegenerative diseases like MND, was awarded $1000, and said the kindness of the anonymous donors is greatly appreciated.

“It’s amazing that people we don’t know are willing to help fund the important work we do here,” said Claire.

Two PhD students, Dzung Do-Ha and Rachelle Balez, were also given $1000 each to contribute to their work. Dzung researches the electrical signals between neurons, to investigate what causes the breakdown in neuronal communication in diseases such as MND. She said she is incredibly grateful for the donation.

“As researchers it is sometimes easy to get caught up in the nitty-gritty things of science. An act of kindness like this is a humble reminder of why we do the research. It is great to know that our research and public engagement makes an impact on the community,” said Dzung.

Rachelle plans to put the money towards travel costs for her Alzheimer’s research.

“One of the things I enjoy about being a medical researcher is communicating and sharing the work I do with the wider community. I plan to use the donation to attend an international conference which will advance my understanding of neurodegenerative diseases to help direct my future research,” she said.

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