UQ researcher awarded top international honour

Professor Melissa Little from The University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) has been selected as a 2006 Eisenhower Fellow and is the first Queenslander in 32 years to receive the honour.

The Eisenhower Fellowship is a prestigious program that brings together 25 emerging leaders from around the world for two months of professional networking opportunities in the United States.

The fellowship is a highly esteemed accolade, with only 26 Australians selected as fellows in the award's 52 year history, the most recent being actress Leah Purcell in 2004.

"The aim is to build leaders with international breadth and tolerance maintained by a network of collegiality," Professor Little said.

"I feel enormously honoured to have received this Fellowship and I plan to use it to meet with leaders in the areas of stem cell research, research translation, business leadership and ethics."

Sir Leo Hielscher, Chairman of the Queensland Treasury Corporation, is the previous Queensland recipient, having been awarded a fellowship in 1973, and nominated Professor Little for this year's award.

"Receiving the Eisenhower Fellowship was a fantastic opportunity for me and allowed me to meet and talk with very important and influential people in my field. Now, Melissa has the opportunity to experience this priceless opportunity," he said.

Professor Little's research is focused on developing new treatments through understanding kidney development and the causes of renal disease.

Professor Little chairs the Renal Regeneration Consortium, a research team of 12 national experts in the fields of developmental biology, molecular genetics, bioinformatics and stem cell biology, working to develop new technologies to repair kidneys damaged by chronic kidney disease.

"With about 7,500 end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients in Australia receiving dialysis at a total cost of AU$375 million per annum, k

Contact: Professor Melissa Little
Research Australia

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