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The 2019 Otago Microbiology & Immunology and Biochemistry Research Celebration

Friday 29 November 2019 2:23pm

research celebration 2019 audience 650
The turnout for the research celebration was high.

As the Dunedin heat built up last Friday, many scientists were found to be sheltering from the unusual weather conditions in the cool comfort of the Fullwood Room, in the Dunedin Town Hall.

The Otago Microbiology & Immunology and Biochemistry Research Celebration is held every two years, and encourages researchers from the two departments to meet en masse, prising themselves out of their labs to share their research stories and find out what is happening in the building next door.

Proceedings were kicked off with warm welcomes from organiser Dr Andrew Cridge, and the Head of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Professor Greg Cook. The audience then enjoyed talks from new principal investigators Miguel Quiñones-Mateu, Paul Gardner and Daniel Pletzer about their research plans. Daniel in particular was thrown in the deep end, having only arrived in the country in the previous week or so.

research celebration 2019 Paul Gardner 650
Dr Paul Gardner talking about his journey to Otago.

Presentations of research from an amazing variety of molecular-related interests continued throughout the day, including 15-minute presentations from postdocs, 3-minute talks from postgrad students, and short introductions to recently funded research projects and newly formed research associations. The latter were particularly appreciated by those looking to use new technologies in their research, such as CRISPR gene editing and eDNA sequencing.

Presentation prizes awarded to students from Biochemistry included:
Oral presentations
Meg O’Malley (Diermeier Lab) 2nd, and Tom Brew (Guilford Lab) 3rd.
Molecular Biology 1st: Meg Taylor (Ledgerwood Lab).
Immunology and Cancer Biology 1st: Kit Moloney-Geany (Guilford Lab)
Bioinformatics and Genetics 1st: Miriam Hunt (Brownfield Lab)
Protein Structure and Function 2nd: Andrej Paluda (Day Lab)

research celebration 2019 Tom Brew and Meg OMalley 650
Tom Brew (left) and Meg O'Malley show us their awards.

Thanks to the Research Celebration Committee for putting so much effort into this widely appreciated and successful event: Andrew Cridge, Adam Middleton, and Debina Sakar from Biochemistry, and Hannah Hampton, Simon Jackson, Remy Muhsin, and Sarah Saunderson from Microbiology and Immunology.