Fulbright Scholars boost US ties and research

Eight University of Melbourne graduates have been named Fulbright Scholars.

Eight University of Melbourne graduates have been named 2020 Fulbright Scholars, boosting research collaboration in public health, medical science, mathematics and law.

The scholarships support Australian recipients for professional development in the United States and promote cultural and educational exchange between the nations.

University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) Michael Wesley said: “These scholarships highlight the important role our graduates have on the global stage. Congratulations to our Fulbright Scholars for 2020, who I’m sure will do fantastic work in their respective fields and undertake research that will make a real difference in people’s lives.”

This year’s scholars are:

  • Allison Hempenstall – a specialist in rural and remote medicine, Dr Hempenstall will study a Master of Public Health specialising in global health and infectious diseases. She plans to return to Australia and continue working in partnership with Indigenous people to improve their health outcomes.
  • Annabelle Brennan – an obstetrics and gynaecology doctor at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Dr Brennan hopes to undertake a Master of Public Health focusing on health management and leadership, which will allow her to develop a greater understanding of the interplay between health management and patient safety.
  • Somya Mehra – a research assistant at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) and Burnet Institute, Ms Mehra will work at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health to optimise barcoding, with the aim of maximising outputs from genomic surveillance in malaria endemic areas.
  • Shane Harrison – a gender specialist for international humanitarian organisations and doctoral student at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Mr Harrison will develop a mixed-methods tool for assessing the capacity of child protection actors to respond to cases of sexual abuse against adolescent girls and boys in humanitarian emergencies.
  • Lachlan Tegart – a PhD candidate, Mr Tegart will work with a world leader in aerobiology to implement a new technique called the Halogen Immunoassay, which will provide scientifically robust information about which pollen types are triggers of allergy symptoms.
  • Jordan Cory – a surgical doctor at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Dr Cory hopes to translate academic research into effective health policy to improve the health outcomes of First Nations and underserved populations.
  • Narelle Keating – a PhD candidate at WEHI, Ms Keating will work at Rockefeller University in New York to will investigate whether patients with rare genetic mutations in important immune signalling molecules are more susceptible to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis
  • Owen Bradfield – a dual-qualified medical practitioner and health lawyer at the Melbourne School of Population & Global Health, Dr Bradfield will collaborate with global experts in patient safety research at Stanford Law School, where he hopes to better understand how complaints processes impact on doctors’ health in the United States.

Two US Fulbright Scholars, Allison Cheung and Alison Ong, have also been selected to study at the University of Melbourne.

The Fulbright Scholars will be officially recognised at the 2020 Presentation Gala Dinner held at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday, 27 February.