Murdoch University academics scoop Professional Development Awards

May 11, 2011

Professional Development Awards worth $5000 have been awarded to Professor Dr Mehmet Cakir and Senior Lecturer Dr Gabrielle Musk at a breakfast at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre today.

The awards are presented under the Perth Convention Bureau’s annual Professional Development Awards program embracing each of Perth’s five leading universities.

Based at Murdoch’s Western Australian Biotechnology Centre, Dr Cakir’s main role is developing and conducting research projects in agricultural biotechnology. His current research focuses on gene discovery and crop improvement in mainly wheat and barley to protect them against pests and diseases.

He is a member of the Genetics Society of Australasia, the Entomological Society of Australasia and the International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences.

Dr Cakir plans to use his award to attend the 17th International Plant Protection Congress (IPPC) in Hawaii in August where he plans to present Perth’s bid to host the meeting in 2019. The IPPC is held every four years and attracts more than 1,800 delegates.

Senior Lecturer in veterinary anaesthesia in the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Dr Musk undertakes research on the respiratory physiology and anaesthetic and analgesic regimes for sheep and lambs involved in medical research.

She is a member of the Australian Veterinary Association, the British Veterinary Association, the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists and the European College of Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia.

Dr Musk plans to use the award to attend the joint meeting of the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists (AVA) and the European College of Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia in England in September where she will present a paper on her current research. She plans to network at this conference to canvass support for a Perth bid to host the World Congress in Veterinary Anaesthesia in 2015.

Perth Convention Bureau Managing Director Christine Allen said today that the awards program had been responsible for generating convention business worth more than $80 million to the Western Australian economy since being launched in 1999.

“The program is a win-win situation for the Bureau,” she said. “We’re delighted to assist in the professional development of our academic community, enabling them to attend overseas conferences and network with their international peers. In return we get to identify a range of valuable bidding opportunities for conferences that have the potential to come to Western Australia.”

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