IMB PhD student awarded Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship

30 Jan 2017

Westpac has awarded 22 exceptional young Australians with a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship so they can undertake post-graduate study at one of Australia’s nine leading universities.

UQ IMB and CSIRO PhD student Samantha Nixon is developing better treatments for drug-resistant parasitic worms, to help Aussie sheep farmers

The awarded Westpac Future Leaders Scholarships are valued at over $2.4 million, and provide each individual up to $120,000 for research or coursework studies at graduate level and includes a nine month bespoke leadership development program and international experiences of up to six months.

Susan Bannigan, CEO of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, said Westpac Future Leaders come from diverse fields and backgrounds with a common goal - to shape a better future for all Australians.

“From researching spider venoms as potential next generation treatments to combat drug resistance in parasites; to innovating the use of 3D printing to repair ruptured ear drums – the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship has attracted an incredibly high caliber of talented and driven individuals.

“All the scholars are passionate about one or more of the Foundation’s focus areas - innovation and technology, enabling positive social change, and strengthening Australia’s ties with Asia – and Westpac is proud to back them so they can realise their full leadership potential,” said Susan.

UQ IMB student Samantha Nixon, studying a PhD of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, is researching the concept of spider venoms as next generation treatments to combat drug resistance in parasites in Australian livestock.

"The Australian sheep industry has been crippled by drug-resistant parasitic worms. I'm looking for new and innovative solutions to this problem through researching parasitic control and investigating spider venoms as new drugs.

“Thanks to the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship I can now take my project to the next level and have the opportunity to become a leader in agricultural science, where women make up just 36% of the field,” said Samantha.

Samantha and the 21 other students will also gain lifelong membership to the Westpac 100 Scholars’ alumni to join an incredible group of inspiring leaders.

“Money can help launch a vision but it takes a network of inspired and inspiring people to sustain it. That’s why every Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship recipient will be part of the Westpac 100 Scholars Network. Growing by 100 scholars a year across our five scholarship programs, this network will connect those with bold ideas to build a better future for all Australians,” Susan added.

The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship is offered in partnership with The University of Adelaide, The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, Monash University, The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, University of Tasmania, University of New South Wales and University of Western Australia.

The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship is one of five scholarships offered through the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation. The Foundation will award its 200th scholar this year, as part of Westpac’s 200th anniversary.

Story source: Westpac Bicentennial Foundation


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