Innovative MS research recognised at state STEM awards

Innovative MS research recognised at state STEM awards

Menzies’ early career neuroscientist Dr Carlie Cullen has been recognised for her outstanding work towards improving the life of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), with a prestigious 2019 Tasmanian Young STEM Researcher award.

Presented by the State Minister for Science and Technology, The Hon. Michael Ferguson, MP as part of the 2019 Tasmanian STEM Excellence Awards, the accolade recognises Dr Cullen’s work towards understanding how the cells that insulate the brain communicate and whether this communication can be manipulated to treat neurological disease, such as MS.

The research focuses on using non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to promote the addition of new brain insulation and try to repair insulation damage that occurs in MS.

In 2016, Dr Cullen was awarded the nationally competitive MS Research Australia Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to carry out the preclinical work that has now led a phase 1 clinical trial assessing the safety of transcranial magnetic stimulation as a potential brain repair therapy for people with MS.

In receiving the award Dr Cullen recognised the work of her fellow team members.

“I am unbelievably honoured and humbled to be named Tasmanian STEM Young Researcher of the Year 2019 and while I am the one receiving this award, it is the culmination of not just my hard work, but that of the incredible team that I have the privilege to work with,” Dr Cullen said.

“I moved to Tasmania five years ago to join the amazing team at Menzies Institute for Medical Research and I have been consistently impressed with the community support for science, so it is exciting that my research has the potential to give something back.”

The awards recognise Tasmanian leaders in innovation, education and communications with a total prize pool of $30,000.

The 2019 award categories were STEM Researcher of the Year, Young STEM Researcher of the Year, STEM Primary Teacher of the Year, STEM Secondary Teacher of the Year, STEM Communicator of the Year and STEM Innovation of the Year.

The awards have been held for the past four years and are supported by the University of Tasmania, the Department of State growth and Inspiring Australia.