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2023 Moderna Australia Fellowships

Congratulations to our 2023 awardees, Dr Lauren Holz and Dr Vihandha Wickramasinghe. Learn more about our new fellows below.

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Dr Lauren Holz

Dr Lauren Holz is a liver immunology specialist at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. Dr Holz has performed key studies vital to the identification of liver tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM cells) and identified the factors necessary for TRM cells to seed the liver. Building on this critical data, she has focused on developing novel vaccine strategies to target the liver stage of malaria, a disease that affects millions of people each year. In the past four years, she has developed and patented two novel vaccine platforms, the most recent of which is an mRNA vaccine. This unique vaccine formulation is the first mRNA vaccine shown to generate tissue-resident memory T cells. Dr Lauren Holz’s research into developing the first mRNA-based malaria vaccine has the potential, if proven effective, to address a health issue of extreme global importance.

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Dr Vihandha Wickramasingh

Dr Vihandha Wickramasinghe is an internationally recognised leader in RNA biology. Dr Wickramasinghe is the head of the RNA Biology and Cancer Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and has a joint appointment with the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Melbourne.  Through Dr Wickramasinghe’s pioneering work, he has uncovered key mechanisms that modulate RNA functionality. Many of these RNA regulatory proteins are altered in various types of cancer, underlying the importance of these cellular processes in both fundamental RNA biology and in disease. He aims to leverage the curiosity driven work on RNA subtypes and accompanying regulatory processes in his laboratory to develop new RNA targeting therapies to treat cancer. His research will play an important role in the next generation of RNA-based therapeutics.

🇦🇺 Australia >Fellowship awardees > Dr Vihandha Wickramasingh video thun