Burnet Institute malaria scientist Dr Michelle Boyle says she regards a prestigious award from the National Association of Research Fellows (NARF) as acknowledgement of a great team effort.
Dr Boyle is the winner of the 2015 NARF post-Doctoral Investigator award for her role as the lead researcher on a study into how antibodies and the immune system prevent malaria.
“We were able to show that at the stage where the parasite infects red blood cells, antibodies have to interact with a part of the immune system called complement,” Dr Boyle said of the research, published in the journal, Immunity.
“If complement is not available, then the antibodies can’t prevent the parasite from infecting red blood cells.”
“The award is a great acknowledgement of all the hard work that went into that Immunity paper and it highlights the great team effort involved.”
As part of her award, Dr Boyle will present her research findings at the NARF Symposia in Adelaide next week during the Australian Society for Medical Research Congress.
“It’s great to get that recognition,” Dr Boyle said.
“As an early-career researcher it’s really important to have your work and your face recognised outside the malaria community and more broadly within the research community in Australia.”
NARF Secretary Professor Robert Medcalf said Dr Boyle’s was the best of 22 ‘high-quality entries’ and the judges were extremely impressed with the overall excellence of the applications.
Dr Boyle is based in Darwin as an Honorary Fellow at the Menzies School of Health Research working on collaborative malaria projects focused on West Papua, Indonesia, Malaysia and Borneo.
She is also working with Burnet Head, Centre for Biomedical Research, Professor James Beeson, to set up collaborative projects between Burnet and Menzies.