By Lydia Hales
Congratulations to Burnet Institute’s Dr Jacqueline Flynn and Dr Gaoqian Feng, who are recipients of Ian Potter Foundation Travel Grants.
Dr Flynn, a Research Officer in the Gorry Laboratory of Burnet’s Centre for Biomedical Research, travelled to Cape Town, South Africa to attend the recent HIV Research for Prevention (HIV R4P) conference.
She was invited to give a presentation at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg where she arranged a laboratory visit with Professor Penny Moore from the AIDS Research Unit.
Also based at the Centre for Biomedical Research, Dr Feng is a postdoctoral scientist in the Beeson Laboratory.
He will use the grant to further his research into developing a vaccine against malaria.
Dr Feng will participate in intensive research with Dr Lubin Jiang at the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai, providing a unique opportunity for collaboration between Burnet Institute and a leading research centre in China.
Dr Feng first realised the potential for collaboration upon reading one of Dr Jiang’s publications in 2012.
He visited the Jiang Laboratory in 2013 and shared Burnet’s newly established technique of studying human immune responses to malaria parasites.
They made plans to continue working together, though Dr Feng said it would have been very difficult to make a return trip without the grant.
“This travel is important to my work because it will be the first time we will apply our newly-developed technique to vaccine trials conducted in another lab,” Dr Feng said.
“This will significantly expand the impact of our research product and create opportunities for further international collaborations. It will also expand my connections with other scientists in related areas.
“Dr Jiang is an outstanding scientist in molecular biology, while we are experienced in immunology and vaccinology.
“I really look forward to working with him during this trip. The preliminary data generated during this visit will provide a stronger base for future funding opportunities.”