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Outstanding Otago Biochemistry student researchers win scholarships

Wednesday 19 August 2020 12:39pm

Two students studying at Otago Biochemistry have recently received scholarships to support their postgraduate research – one can now pursue a PhD in the USA, and the other will be supported while they add a year of research to their medical education.

Anezka and Duncan_650
Otago Biochemistry students Anežka Hoskin (left) and Duncan Finlayson.

Anežka Hoskin recently completed her MSc with Professor Tony Merriman, where she investigated genetic associations with gout and type 2 diabetes in her iwi, Ngati Porou.

On the back of her successful study, Anežka has won a prestigious Fulbright NZ Science and Innovation award to study a PhD in Genetics at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

The Fulbright programme is one of the largest and most significant educational exchanges of scholars in the world, and this year has granted awards to 49 New Zealand and US graduate students, scholars, artists and professionals.

Duncan Finlayson is part-way through his medical training (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery), but has paused this to add a full-time year of research to his education (a Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours, BMedSc(Hons)).

He has chosen to carry out this research with Otago Biochemists Professor Parry Guilford and Dr Donghui Zou, and is investigating ways to use circulating tumour DNA to manage gastrointestinal cancer.

Medical students who gain entry to the BMedSc(Hons) programme receive a scholarship to pay for the year’s fees (approximately $10,000 each) and to assist with their living costs over the course’s 10-month duration. In addition, Duncan has won the Tassell Scholarship for undertaking cancer research, and the A F J Mickle Scholarship for research in Anatomy, Physiology, or Biochemistry.

You can read more about this year’s Otago recipients of Fulbright New Zealand award winners here: Fulbright honours to eight University of Otago graduates

And read about the Otago Medical School student researchers that were recently awarded scholarships here: Future research in safe hands at Otago Medical School