MND researchers flying to Perth for International Symposium

The winners of the Magnified Justin Yerbury Travel Scholarships have been announced by the judging committee. 

Four scholarships have been awarded to help motor neurone disease (MND) researchers attend the International Symposium on MND/ALS in Perth in December. 

Professor Justin Yerbury’s Senior Research Assistant Natalie Farrawell has won a full scholarship of $2000. 

PhD candidate Dzung Do-Ha was awarded $500 to go towards her travel to Western Australia for the Symposium. Ms Do-Ha previously received $1,500 from the Jenny and Graham Lang Travel Grant, along with Dr Luke McAlary. 

The two other winners of the Magnified grants of $2000 have been awarded to two PhD researchers from the Macquarie University MND Centre, Andres Vidal-Itriago and Natalie Scherer. 

The pair are currently collaborating with Professor Yerbury on MND research. 

The Symposium is the largest medical and scientific conference specific to MND/ALS. 

Over 1000 delegates are expected to attend the event to discuss the latest advances in research and clinical management. 

Natalie Farrawell said the trip will help her advance her skills and knowledge:

“It offers me a rare opportunity to engage international leading scientists and to learn how the field is advancing. I want to bring cutting-edge research back to IHMRI.” 

Dzung Do-Ha said the networking opportunities will be invaluable as well as hearing from highly regarded MND researchers: “I’m really interested to hear the latest in proteostasis/proteotoxicity, immunity and inflammation, as well as synaptic pathology. I’m also looking forward to the talks on how to model neuromuscular junction in a dish, a project highly relevant to the Ooi lab group.” 

Natalie and Dzung have also had abstracts for their posters accepted to present at the Symposium. 

Professor Justin Yerbury has congratulated the winners:

“This is a great opportunity for these dedicated researchers to expand their knowledge and connections in MND research. These four winners were clear standouts for the scholarships and I congratulate all applicants. I attended the International MND/ALS symposium more than ten years ago after receiving my very first MND funding.” 

Magnified, the science art exhibition was held at the University of Wollongong (UOW) in 2018. 

Sale of the artworks raised over $10,000 to fund the scholarships. 

Organised by former IHMRI Research Assistant Clare Watson and PhD candidate Rachelle Balez, Magnified also helped educate over 300 people who visited the exhibition.

Related stories

Magnified Justin Yerbury Travel Scholarships winners return home

Magnified raises over $10,000 for MND research

Media contact

Louise Negline, Communications Coordinator

t: 4221 4702

m: 0417 044 867


Top photos in clockwise direction: 

  • Dzung Do-Ha. Photo by Trudy Simpkin
  • Natalie Farrawell and Professor Justin Yerbury. Photo by Mark Newsham.
  • Andres Vidal-Itriago. Photo supplied.
  • Natalie Scherer. Photo supplied.

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