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BioGENEius finalist returns home

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Congratulations to ECU-mentored Perth Modern Student, Ailsa Brown, who recently returned home after participating in the International BioGENEius Challenge, held from 26 - 29 June, in Washington DC.

The international challenge is part of the world’s biggest biotechnology conference BIO 2011. The challenge saw Ailsa and fellow WA winner Clare Morgan from Saint Hilda’s compete alongside 10 finalists from the United States and two from Canada.

Ailsa was mentored by ECU’s Chair in Aging and Alzheimer’s disease, Professor Ralph Martins, and Research Fellow Dr Simon Laws.

Her research aimed to explain why some carriers of the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's still seem to escape the disease, while others don’t.

Dr Laws, who accompanied Ailsa to Washington, congratulated her on an insightful and mature presentation.

“Ailsa represented both her school and Edith Cowan University with the highest order of professionalism and both girls did exceptionally well, presenting their research with maturity beyond their years,” said Dr Laws.

“Whilst both students fell just outside the top four, they should both be exceptionally proud of the research they undertook and the way they presented it.”

The awards were announced during a luncheon keynote address, which was given by the former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.

As part of the visit the students also got a chance to speak to dignitaries such as Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Senator The Hon. Kim Carr and Chief Scientist of Western Australia Professor Lyn Beazley AO FTSE. They also met with representatives from major biotechnology organisations.

For more information on the challenge visit the Biotechnology Institute website.


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