Early Career Research Travel Grant recipients announced

Monday 21 August 2017

Mater Research is pleased to announce Dr Linda Gallo and Dr Hanna Reinebrant as the successful applicants for the 2017 Mater Research Early Career Research (ECR) Travel Grants.

Both applicants have been awarded $2000, generously provided by Mater Foundation, to enable them to present their abstracts at international conferences later this year.

Travelling to Lisbon, Portugal, Dr Gallo will present her abstract entitled ‘the role of GLUT4 in the kidney proximal tubule in blood glucose control and kidney function’ at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).  The EASD conference is attended by more than 15,000 delegates from 130 countries.

Dr Gallo said that diabetes mellitus affects more than 1 million Australians.

“Diabetes mellitus is characterised by chronic elevations in blood glucose levels and is associated with an increased risk of vascular complications,” Dr Gallo said.

“Of relevance to our research, the kidneys have become increasingly recognised for their contribution to blood glucose control. In fact, new therapies for type 2 diabetes target the kidneys to promote urinary glucose loss and therefore lower blood glucose levels.

“We have been studying a specific glucose transporter in the kidney, GLUT4, which has a previously unrecognised role in this context. We have identified that this kidney glucose transporter may play a role in blood glucose control and overall kidney function. Thus, our findings are of considerable interest to other researchers and clinicians in the diabetes field.”

Dr Gallo said that the week long program includes lectures for distinguished scientists and clinicians and oral and poster sessions relating to the study of diabetes.

“Being able to share our research at this meeting provides an opportunity to receive critical feedback and ideas from world experts,” Dr Gallo said.

“Listening to other presentations is also important as it helps to ensure our knowledge is up-to-date and guides future work.

“The EASD also supports Early Career Researchers through a Young Academy initiative, where we have the opportunity to meet with senior researchers who have made major contributions to the field. My attendance will also positively impact on my international networks as it provides an opportunity to engage with existing collaborators and establish new ones.

“While in Europe, I will also be meeting with a collaborator in Frankfurt to discuss our current work and delivering a seminar in Gothenburg.”

Dr Reinebrant will present her two abstracts entitled ‘Global reporting of the causes of stillbirth: A systematic review and Investigations undertaken following a stillbirth across Australian hospitals’ at the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) Annual Conference and Perinatal Mortality Classification Workshop in Cork, Ireland.

Dr Reinebrant said stillbirth is a global health problem with more than 2.6 million babies stillborn every year.

“In Australia six babies are stillborn every day,” Dr Reinebrant said.

“My research within the Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth is focusing on investigations undertaken following a stillbirth and causes and classification of stillbirth.

“The International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) conference in September, is the main international annual stillbirth meeting. The ISA brings together the expertise from midwives, clinicians, biomedical researchers and parent organisations in one room which is invaluable for our research.

“The funding I received to attend this meeting will give me a fantastic opportunity for face-to-face discussions with international collaborators, and the meeting is a great platform to discuss current and future projects.

“I will be presenting two of our projects at the conference; one is a review of global causes of stillbirth, and the other a large national study of investigations following stillbirths."

Dr Reinebrant also plans to attend several workshops that are taking place in association with the conference, including the Perinatal Mortality Classification System workshop.

“This workshop aims to improve classification of stillbirth to drive prevention. My research on global causes of stillbirth has been an important contributor to guide the workshop, and to be able to join the workshop will be an important step for my future research.”

Congratulations to both recipients.