IHMRI Research Assistant Natalie Farawell with Associate Professor Justin Yerbury. Photo by Mark Newsham.

IHMRI Research Assistant Natalie Farawell with Associate Professor Justin Yerbury. Photo by Mark Newsham, courtesy of UOW Advancement.

Magnified art exhibition supports emerging MND researchers

The recipients of the inaugural Magnified Justin Yerbury Travel Scholarships have been announced.

IHMRI PhD candidate Natalie Guthrie, UNSW PhD candidate Rene Jezewski along with IHMRI alumnus and Queensland Brian Institute Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Rebecca San Gil, have been awarded travel grants to attend the 29th International Symposium on MND/ALS in Glasgow in December.

The scholarships are the initiative of IHMRI Research Assistant Clare Watson and PhD candidate Rachelle Balez, who raised the funds for the scholarships through the science art exhibition, Magnified.

“Rachelle and I are thrilled to support three talented researchers this year. Rebecca will be presenting her work on the heat shock response to protein aggregation in MND on an international stage. Natalie and Rene who are in the early stages of their PhD studies will use their experience to shape their research,” said Ms Watson.

The Magnified exhibition, honouring the research of Associate Professor Justin Yerbury, was held at the University of Wollongong (UOW) in July this year and attracted more than 300 people.

The sale of the artworks from the exhibition raised over $10,000 to support the next generation of MND researchers.

 “I’m very excited to see the goal of Magnified realised with the announcement of these scholarships!” added Ms Balez.

“I am very humbled to have these scholarships presented in my name and thank Clare and Rachelle very much for all their efforts. It is a perfect choice of schemes given my very first MND funding was to attend the International MND/ALS symposium 10 years ago this December,” said Associate Professor Justin Yerbury.

Associate Professor Yerbury, who was diagnosed with MND in 2016, recently returned to work since undergoing life prolonging surgery earlier this year.

His inspiring story to survive and find a treatment and potentially a cure for MND continues to drive his important research at IHMRI.

The three scholarship recipients have thanked Associate Professor Yerbury and the Magnified organisers for this significant career opportunity to attend the International Symposium on MND/ALS, the largets gathering if the global MND research community.

Rene Jezewski

Rene Jezewski

Rene Jezewski

“The Magnified Justin Yerbury Travel Scholarship will afford me the opportunity to enhance my understanding of the mechanisms of MND and develop insights into the disease beyond the scope of my research. Collaborations forged during this opportunity might allow diverse research techniques to merge across institutions and facilities,” said Rene Jezewski.


Natalie Guthrie

Natalie Guthrie

Natalie Guthrie

“I strongly believe that collaboration and communication between scientists is the the key to making breakthroughs in our knowledge and understanding of the molecular intricacies of this disease and I want to make my mark and contribute to the scientific community,” said Natalie Guthrie.


Dr Rebecca San Gil

Dr Rebecca San Gil

Dr Rebecca San Gil

“Travel to this conference will provide me with an excellent opportunity to interact with leading MND experts and will expedite my research endeavours towards improving the lives of patients living with MND,” said Rebecca San Gil.


Related stories

Magnified raises over $10,000 for MND research

Science magnified and magnificent

About Associate Professor Justin Yerbury


Media contact

Louise Negline, Communications Coordinator

t: 4221 4702

m: 0417 044 867

e: louisenegline@ihmri.org.au

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