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Friday 22 February 2019 1:43pm

Associate Professor Julia Horsfield.

The Director of Genetics Otago (GO), Associate Professor Julia Horsfield, says she is excited and honoured to win a scholarship from Fulbright New Zealand.

Associate Professor Horsfield was this week named as one of six academics from universities and research institutions around New Zealand to receive a 2019 New Zealand Scholar Award – allowing them to travel to the United States to pursue their research.

Associate Professor Horsfield, a developmental geneticist based in the Department of Pathology, leads a research group investigating the role of chromosome structure in animal development and cancer.

Her Fulbright Award will allow her to advance her research alongside some of the best academics in the world.

“I will use the award to travel to University of California campuses, Davis and Irvine, in California,” she explains. “At these institutions, I will be using single-cell sequencing to research how cell fate decisions are controlled in the zebrafish animal model. My colleagues in the USA are applying some exciting techniques to understand how animals develop from just a few cells to a complete body plan.

"Receiving this award will give me an amazing opportunity to advance my research; an opportunity that I never would have had otherwise."

“I am excited to work in the USA where I'll be able to use these techniques in my own research. I am also thrilled to be joining the Fulbright family and I am looking forward to the collegiality and networking that this programme offers.”

Associate Professor Horsfield will work in the United States from December 2019 through to May 2020.

“Receiving this award will give me an amazing opportunity to advance my research; an opportunity that I never would have had otherwise.”

She adds her thanks to her family for their understanding and support.

“I'd never be able to follow my dreams without them. Also, receiving a Fulbright Scholarship means they can come along with me for the ride.”

Associate Professor Horsfield has been at Otago for 12 years, coming here from a Research Fellow position at the University of Auckland. She set up the University's Zebrafish Facility, now one of the most advanced in Australasia.

In 2017, she became the Director of Genetics Otago, a University of Otago Research Centre comprising nearly 270 members across many departments including Biochemistry, Microbiology, Anatomy, Zoology and Law.

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