Research kudos for two graduates

Amanda Hutchinson

Amanda Hutchinson
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Paul Giacomin

Paul Giacomin
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Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowship flyer  [PDF]  (30.59K)

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Media magnate Rupert Murdoch will present two University of Adelaide postgraduate students with US research fellowships at a benefit dinner in New York in October.

Psychologist Amanda Hutchinson and biomedical scientist Paul Giacomin are among six recipients of the 2008 Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowships announced by the American Australian Association this month.

Ms Hutchinson will work with a world leader in brain functioning at the University of Colorado to study Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in adults and its causes. Her research will investigate how the interaction between the left and right hemispheres of the brain may cause attention difficulties.

After completing her Masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of Adelaide in 2005, Ms Hutchinson moved to the US with her husband, Mark, also a past recipient of the American Australian Association Fellowship for his research into morphine addiction. Both work at the University of Colorado.

Ms Hutchinson is completing her PhD remotely and expects to finish in 2008.

Mr Giacomin's research at the University of Pennsylvania will focus on how the body's immune system controls infections with parasitic worms, a health problem that affects two billion people worldwide. He hopes to determine how specialised cells can eliminate worms from the body.

The biomedical scientist graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in 2002. His PhD thesis, which he has recently submitted, also involved studying the immune response to parasitic worms. Mr Giacomin leaves for the US in October to begin work on his fellowship.

The Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowships are named after one of the founders of the American Australian Association, formed in 1948 to promote intellectual alliances between Australia and the US.

Eleven scholarships in total were awarded by the American-Australian Association this year, including six Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowships and five corporation-sponsored fellowships.

Fellowships worth more than $1.4 million have been awarded since 2002 when the association launched an education fund.

"This year we have an extraordinary standard of Fellows in a variety of critical fields," said Malcolm Binks, Association Chairman. "These Fellows are not only leaders in their areas of research, but are also devoted to gaining experience in the US in order to further Australian research interests."


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