veski announces two more fellows

31 October

Mimicking the Science of Creation: International Scientist Returns Home

The creation of a human being from a single cell remains one of the greatest feats of engineering ever developed. In comparison, our attempts to assemble machines and electronic equipment are amateurish.

After seven years in the UK (Edinburgh, Cambridge and OxfordUniversities), Dr Cait MacPhee, is returning home to Victoria to continue her ground-breaking research into the development of new materials by mimicking the way nature’s proteins self assemble and heal.

Dr MacPhee is returning to Victoria following the awarding of a fellowship by veski, the Victorian Endowment for Science Knowledge and Innovation, established by the State Government to entice talented expatriates home.

Dr MacPhee will be introduced to Melbourne by the Minister for Innovation, John Brumby, on Monday 23rd October at a function to introduce the 2006 veski fellows. Dr Cait MacPhee has spent the last seven years in the UK developing an international reputation as a nanotechnology researcher. Returning to Victoria, where she will be based at Monash University, she aims to continue her research “mimicking nature”.

“I hope to harness one of nature’s elegant self-assembly mechanisms and exploit it to yield new materials and possibly also components in new devices,” she says.

veski was created to identify outstanding Australian expats and to entice them home. In a collaborative relationship with the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, the Endowment has been able to bring both Dr MacPhee back to Victoria as well as outstanding scientist, Dr Alyssa Barry, a malaria scientist previously at the New York School of Medicine.

To date three other fellows have been returned to Victoria by veski – Professor Andrew Holmes, Professor Marcus Pandy and Dr Gareth Forde.

Dr Alyssa Barry has returned to Melbourne from the Department of Medical Parasitology at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr Barry is part of a team within the International Health Research Unit at the Burnet Institute where she is continuing her research into the study of genes relating to the malaria parasite in the hope of developing a vaccine against the infection.

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