Murdoch University student wins New Investigator Prize

September 22, 2011

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Murdoch University PhD student Josh Sweeny has taken out the Edith Cowan University New Investigator Prize for Biological Research Award at the Combined Biological Sciences Meeting (CBSM) held at the UWA club late last month.

The $2000 award is designed to support the travel of West Australian postgraduate or early career research scientists to attend and deliver their results at a national or international conference. It is judged on the participants’ abstract, CV, oral presentation and response to questions from judges and peers.

Mr Sweeny’s presented his findings on a new molecular DNA technique, which was capable of differentiating between parasitic worm species in lambs, passed in the form of eggs in faeces. These findings could ensure a more efficient way of treating lambs and limit the risk of worms developing resistance to treatment, which will benefit the industry by limiting production loss and mortality.

He praised the award organisers for fostering a forum in which researchers can present to peers.

"No one goes to a conference with the sole objective to win a prize, I enjoy the opportunity the conference provides in enabling students to present their research to a professional biological audience from diverse backgrounds," he said.

"The conference is fantastic for preparing students (Honours, Masters and PhD) for national or international conferences focused more directly in their area of research, whilst also providing networking and future employment opportunities in a variety of different biological research fields."

"Experience from these conferences has helped me with presentations at the annual Australian Society of Parasitology Conferences and International Congress of Parasitology."

Mr Sweeny plans to use the money to present his research findings at the annual Australian Society of Parasitology Conference in 2012, to be held in Tasmania. He will use the remaining funds to continue with his research.

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