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Curtin student named Forrest Research Foundation Scholar

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A Curtin University PhD student whose research aims to contribute toward improving outcomes for patients living with malignant melanoma has been awarded a prestigious Forrest Research Foundation Scholarship.

Jessica Murray, from Mount Barker in Western Australia, will undertake important research within the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI). Her research will explore the underlying molecular interactions that are involved in an alternative form of melanoma spreading in the body, which may help to better inform patient prognosis and potentially identify more effective targets for anticancer therapy.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry congratulated Ms Murray on receiving the prestigious Scholarship.

“Ms Murray’s important research aims to improve the prognosis of metastatic melanoma, which remains poor due to low response rates to current therapies, severe side effects and acquired resistance,” Professor Terry said.

“Forrest Research Foundation Scholarships are offered to outstanding international and Australian students who wish to study towards a PhD at a Western Australian university and we are delighted that Ms Murray has chosen Curtin as her preferred University.”

Ms Murray said she was honoured to be awarded the Forrest Research Foundation Scholarship and looked forward to continuing her studies at Curtin.

“Cancer biology is a complex field, much like a very large jigsaw puzzle that we are trying to find all the pieces for, in an attempt to resolve the bigger picture. I am passionate about medical research, particularly cancer biology, and my goal is to help identify one of these metaphorical jigsaw pieces and start to understand where it belongs,” Ms Murray said.

“Being a West Australian, I hope to contribute to the ongoing strength of our vibrant local scientific community as well as collaborate with national and international experts. I am honoured to receive this Scholarship from the Forrest Foundation and look forward to working closely with researchers from CHIRI.”

The Forrest Research Foundation was established in 2014 following a donation of $65 million by Andrew and Nicola Forrest through the Minderoo Foundation.

Ms Forrest said she was blown away by the standard of incoming Forrest Scholars.

“The impact of their research will be felt around the world and we’re looking forward to following their progress over the next few years,” Ms Forrest said.

The Forrest Foundation has supported nine PhD scholars to commence their studies in 2020.

Further information on the Forrest Research Foundation can be found online here.

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