Monash leads the way in Australian Research Council Future Fellowships

11 January 2016

Eight Monash University researchers have been awarded Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowships, providing $6.1m in funding to support their research. This is the strongest performance of any Australian university. The prestigious four-year fellowships are aimed at increasing research activity in areas of national significance. Special consideration is given to applicants with demonstrated ability to collaborate with industry and other research institutions.

Monash University, Australia
Monash leads the way in Australian Research Council Future Fellowships (Image credit: Monash University)

The Monash fellows include Dr Michelle Dunstone (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), who is researching the Membrane Attack Complex (MAC). MAC is a large hole-punching protein complex used by the human immune system to target invasive bacteria and parasites. Dr Dunstone’s research aims to explore how the MAC inserts into cells in real time.
Dr Keyne Monro’s (Monash School of Biological Sciences) research aims to determine whether evolutionary responses can protect marine populations against environmental changes.
The focus of Dr Juile Kalman (School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies) is on the role of Sephardic Jewish traders in colonial systems, which will transform the history of Western imperialism in the Mediterranean.
Dr Matthew Piper (School of Biological Sciences) will use novel genomics techniques to determine how organisms use nutrition to enhance fitness. The research will contribute significantly to existing knowledge of fundamental nutritional biochemistry.
‘Measuring the mind: A framework for building a consciousness meter’ is Professor Tim Bayne’s study. Professor Bayne aims to develop a new framework to measure consciousness; a project that will have numerous applications in science and ethics discussions.
The School of Physics and Astronomy’s Dr Eric Thrane has received a fellowship for his innovative research into gravitational waves. Dr Thrane aims to detect ripples in the fabric of spacetime using new data analysis techniques.
Dr Agustin Schiffrin (School of Physics and Astronomy) will synthesise and characterise low-dimensional organic nanostructures.
‘Engineering novel two-dimensional materials for optoelectronic applications’, Dr Qiaoliang Bao’s study, will enable many technology innovations and enhance Australia’s productivity in engineering and manufacturing.
Provost and Senior Vice-President Professor Edwina Cornish said the university’s success is reflective of its focus on collaboration, innovation and research excellence.
“The Future Fellows are from diverse fields of study and several have already worked extensively in international institutions. Collaboration, diversity and research excellence are core priorities of Monash University, and are an important part of the Future Fellowships criteria,” Professor Cornish said.
“The university is extremely proud of our Monash Future Fellows. Their valuable research will contribute significantly to their respective areas, both locally and globally,” she said.

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