American Australian Association Fellowships awarded to Melbourne scholars

Five early-career researchers from the University of Melbourne have been awarded fellowships from the American Australian Association's Education Fund to undertake research projects at prestigious American universities.

The Fellowships are made annually to support researchers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), sustainability and medicine, with the goal of expanding intellectual alliances and collaboration between Australians and Americans.

Since the inception of the Association's Education Fund in 2002, over $5 million has been awarded in fellowships to more than 200 outstanding Australian and American scholars.

The fellows include Elizabeth Manning, who won the Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowship.  At the University of Pittsburgh she will be trained to use advanced neuroscience methods to better understand the neural changes which underlie disrupted cognition in mental health disorders.

Jessica Neil is also a Sir Keith Murdoch Fellow. She will be based at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine at New York University's Langone Medical Center where she will explore how viruses contribute to complex chronic diseases, such as Crohn's disease, and the circumstances during which virus infections can actually be beneficial to the host. 

This year's Qantas Fellow is Melbourne Law School doctoral candidate Dylan Lino, who'll be a Visiting Researcher and Graduate Program Fellow at Harvard Law School, where he will complete his dissertation on whether constitutional recognition of Australia's Indigenous peoples can achieve a just and sustainable Indigenous-settler relationship.

The Dow Chemical Company Fellow is Mark Richardson who completed his PhD at the University of Melbourne this year. He is fascinated by problems in chemistry and biology, and marries these two fields in his research pursuits. He will be based at the University of California, Irvine.

Nicholas Rodd is the ConocoPhillips Fellow, and will be working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His physics research encompasses the structure and experimental signatures associated with 'beyond the standard model phenomena'. His current focus is dark matter and a potential signal seen in the galactic center.