Byron Kakulas Prestige Scholarship recipients

This year’s recipients of the ‘Byron Kakulas Prestige Scholarships’ are Dr Xiaonan Zhong and Nataliya Slater.

The Kakulas scholarships are awarded competitively to the most outstanding students starting their PhD candidature at the Perron Institute, based on academic merit and research potential.

They are named in honour of Emeritus Professor Byron Kakulas AO, the Perron Institute’s founding director, whose vision and energy was responsible for establishing the institute over 38 years ago.

Dr Zhong (pictured) is a medical graduate from China (Sun Yat-sen University) who trained in neurology. She came to Australia last year and has been based at the Institute for Immunology & Infectious Diseases (IIID), Murdoch University. Her PhD studies via UWA are focused on molecular and cellular immunology in multiple sclerosis, supervised by Clinical Professor Allan Kermode, head of Demyelinating Diseases Research at the Perron Institute, IIID and the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics (CMMIT).

Nataliya Slater, a Bachelor of Science (Honours) graduate from Murdoch University, received a Murdoch Honours Vice Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence in 2019. Her research will focus on immunological aspects of myositis under the supervision of Dr Jerome Coudert and Professor Merrilee Needham, head of Myosotis Research at Perron Institute and CMMIT.

An event was scheduled to publicly acknowledge the recipients for 2020, but unfortunately, due to COVID-19, it had to be cancelled.

Perron Institute CEO Steve Arnott said postgraduate research students made an enormous contribution to the institute’s research on neurological and other diseases.

“Postgraduate students are the lifeblood and future of research institutions like the Perron Institute. They bring diversity, vibrancy, and youth, and add to the institute’s research in immeasurable ways,” he said.

The Perron Institute’s postgraduate intake includes students completing PhD and Masters degrees through partner universities in Western Australia and overseas. Current joint supervision arrangements are in place with universities in Estonia, Thailand, Hong Kong, the UK and Vietnam.

Congratulations from the Perron Institute to our 2020 Kakulas Prestige Scholarship recipients. We wish them, and all of our students, the best with their research.

Dr Xiaonan Zhong