Tuesday, 27 March 2018

ECR grant win helping to prevent gestational diabetes



Ms Aya Mousa (left) and Dr Stacey Ellery (right)
This article is adapted from this article written by Kristy Sheridan, Hudson Institute.

Early career researchers Ms Aya Mousa and Dr Stacey Ellery won the Monash Health Translation Precinct Research Week ECR speed networking event recently, receiving a $10,000 grant to progress their collaborative research idea looking at the mechanisms of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). 

This condition affects 20,000 Australian women each year. Women with GDM are at higher risk of pre-eclampsia and preterm birth, and the disease predisposes both mother and infant to developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases later in life.

MCHRI early career researcher Aya, and Stacey, a postdoctoral researcher in The Ritchie Centre, will use bio-banked plasma samples from over 500 pregnant women to explore the mechanisms by which diet and lifestyle intervention may influence the development of GDM. 

They’ll also conduct the first studies to comprehensively assess lipid biomarkers in GDM, through which they may identify novel metabolic markers (lipids) that could be used to improve risk prediction, prevention, and management of GDM.

Ms Mousa and Dr Ellery said the networking event was a unique opportunity, as their respective research teams were unaware of their compatible research interests. They acknowledged their thanks for the funds pledged by Hudson and School of Clinical Sciences (SCS), which ensured the idea could be made a reality. 

Co-organised by the Hudson Institute and SCS ECR Committees, the event brought a diverse range of early career researchers together to submit a collaborative grant idea. 

Event co-organiser Dr Aimee Dordevic said, “It was fantastic to see how well the event was able to facilitate collaborations between researchers that may not have otherwise come to life. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of the projects, from Aya and Stacey, and all of the other grant applicants.

"Importantly, we would like to thank Hudson and SCS for supporting this event. We plan to run the event again in 2018 so that we can continue to nurture collaborations between ECRs and foster world-class research outcomes.”