Hudson Institute’s 2023 Emerging Leaders

Six of the best early career researchers have been selected to take part in the Hudson Institute 2023 Emerging Leaders Program.

L-R: Dr Rukmali Wijayarathna, Dr Emily Gulliver, Dr Nicole Campbell, Professor Elizabeth Hartland, Dr Sarah Moody, Dr Harriet Fitzgerald, Dr Caroline Skene
L-R: Dr Rukmali Wijayarathna, Dr Emily Gulliver, Dr Nicole Campbell, Professor Elizabeth Hartland, Dr Sarah Moody, Dr Harriet Fitzgerald, Dr Caroline Skene

After a competitive application process, Dr Sarah Moody, Dr Nicole Campbell, Dr Rukmali Wijayarathna, Dr Harriet Fitzgerald, Dr Caroline Skene and Dr Emily Gulliver,were selected to participate in the prestigious annual program (established in 2019 at Hudson Institute) by the Hudson Institute ‘Career Development Committee’.

The goal of the program is to empower high-achieving Early Career Researchers to reach their full potential in becoming independent researchers and future leaders in their fields.

The tailored training program run in partnership with Matt Gaffney of Enindico, focuses on preparing awardees for the responsibility of managing an independent research group, providing tools to cope with the pressure of a research career, and developing the confidence to create change in the scientific community.

While the initiative will provide awardees with personalised and comprehensive leadership training and mentoring, the wider impact of the program includes awardees sharing their knowledge and experiences with other early career researchers, ensuring what they have learnt will help others.

“Careers in academic medical research are incredibly difficult to sustain; as a result, highly talented young scientists are too often lost to other careers. The program provides the Awardees with practical tools and advice to future-proof their career, ensuring they reach their potential as future leaders.” said Career Development Committee co-Chair, Dr Michael Gantier

Meet the Hudson Institute 2023 Emerging Leaders

Dr Nicole Campbell, Postdoctoral Scientist, Regulation of Interferon working on ovarian cancer and interferon at Hudson Institute

Dr Nicole Campbell

Postdoctoral Scientist, Regulation of Interferon and Innate Signalling

Dr Nicole Campbell’s research is centred on type I interferons, a family of pleiotropic cytokines with well-characterised functions in anti-viral and anti-cancer immunity. Her primary research focus is investigating the potential of interferon epsilon, a unique type I interferon discovered by Prof Paul Hertzog’s lab, as a treatment for ovarian cancer.

Dr Emily Gulliver from the Microbiota and Systems Biology Research Group at Hudson Institute

Dr Emily Gulliver

Postdoctoral scientist, Microbiota and Systems Biology

Dr Emily Gulliver works with A Prof Sam Forster on developing microbiological, genomic and sequencing methods to characterise the movement of antimicrobial resistance genes between bacteria that inhabit the human gut. Her research identified the role of the sRNA GcvB in amino acid biosynthesis and transport and elucidated the RNA binding partners of the sRNA chaperone protein ProQ within P. multocida.

Rukmali Wijayarathna, Postdoctoral Scientist, Endocrinology and Immunophysiology at Hudson Institute

Dr Rukmali Wijayarathna

Postdoctoral Scientist, Endocrinology and Immunophysiology

Dr Rukmali Wijayarathna’s research in Professor Mark Hedger’s group focuses on understanding the immunoregulatory mechanisms in the testis and epididymis, to improve outcomes for men experiencing infertility due to infections and inflammation in the male reproductive system. She is actively involved in ECR-PhD student mentoring programs and is a member of the Hudson Early Career Researcher committee.

Dr Caroline Skene at Hudson Institute

Dr Caroline Skene

Postdoctoral Scientist, Gastrointestinal Infection and Inflammation

Dr Caroline Skene works in the Gastrointestinal Infection and Inflammation Laboratory led by Richard Ferrero, studying novel vaccine delivery systems and bacterial proteins. Her research is centred on Helicobacter pylori – which infects about half the world’s population and is usually acquired during childhood – specifically its role in gastric cancers.

Dr Sarah Moody from the Testis Development and Male Germ Cell Biology Research Group at Hudson Institute

Dr Sarah Moody

Postdoctoral Scientist, Testis Development and Male Germ Cell Biology

Dr Sarah Moody is a Postdoctoral Researcher working with Professor Kate Loveland in the Testis Development and Male Germ Cell Biology laboratory. Her PhD was titled “Investigating the effects of activin A and TGFbeta superfamily ligands on the fetal male germline” and her current research continues to expand on understanding the role of activin A and TGFbetas on the fetal male germline and developing testis.

Dr Harriet Fitzgerald

Postdoctoral Scientist, Endometrial Stem Cell Biology

Since 2022 Dr Harriet Fitzgerald has been part of the groups of Professor Caroline Gargett at Hudson Institute and Professor Beverley Vollenhoven in the Dept. of O&G at Monash University as a Research Fellow. Her research aims to fill a significant gap in our understanding of endometrial related pathologies, including endometriosis, and infertility, ultimately leading to improved pregnancy outcomes and women’s health.

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