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Moving from Colombia eight years ago to study a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne, Laura Galvis Vargas is a seasoned Melbournite. As a member of the Marcelle Group, Laura is undertaking her PhD in muscle regeneration research, and she is already renowned amongst ARMI for her passion for science and collaboration (facilitated by the ABC symposium).

As a UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program) student, Laura commenced her research career at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in the field of lung epigenetics. Under the supervision of Dr. Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat, she completed her honours and worked as a research assistant, developing her skills as a scientist.

Over 25,000 Australians suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and with 10 new diagnoses each week and an ageing population, that number is on the rise. Unfortunately, given the relatively few sufferers in comparison to our total population, it’s no surprise that only 4 out of 10 Australians rank MS as a community health priority.

But this perception can be changed, and that’s what makes MS Research Australia’s ‘Kiss Goodbye to MS’ campaign in May so valuable. One proud contributor is ARMI’s own Merson Group, who research potential methods to mitigate the debilitating symptoms of MS. By taking part in the campaign’s launch day event ‘Red Lab Coat Day(on May 1st), they’re aiming to raise funds for further research in the prevention, treatment and, ideally, a cure for MS.

At ARMI, our research capabilities are our greatest strength- bringing together the best minds to tackle some the most difficult issues in regenerative medicine. But behind the lab bench, a different sort of research takes place; one that empowers our scientists and generates opportunities through advocacy and promotion. The Institute’s Leadership Advisory Board is one of them (ARMILAB) ‑ and one of its newest members members, Sonya Walker, is excited to take part and help researchers.

“I’ve had a wonderful career in science,” beams Claude, “I wish a lot of people the same pleasure of going to work every day like I have!” Claude always knew that he would have a career in science, but with a medical focus, “I knew early I didn’t want to do medicine as I knew I was more interested in discovery.”  Claude was born and bred in Paris, and it was where Claude’s love for science began – he completed his undergraduate degree there.  As Claude loved to ski, he decided to relocate to Montreal, Canada to study and complete his French National Service. He really thought he was being clever and laughs telling the story, “I didn’t count on it being -40°C making it difficult to be outside, let alone ski!” Nevertheless, Claude endured the cold Arctic winters of Montreal, finished his national service and completed his masters and PhD there. 

The Autumn 2018 edition of the ARMI newsletter, Regenerate, is now available for download in the 'Resources' section. Here are just some of the highlights for ARMI in the first quarter of 2018:

  • The Science of Juggling: Mirana Ramialison on Research and Motherhood
  • To ARMI and Beyond, we wish Hozana Castillo all the best in the years to come
  • Imagine if… ARMI’s Community Partnership Program. It’s time to talk science
  • The Board’s newest addition, Tim Murphy understands the Value of Collaboration
  • A young boy missing the visual centre of his brain retains vision - stunning researchers
  • REGENERATION - an exhibition
  • The ISSCR is coming to Melbourne – and ARMI will be there

Discover what other highlights have emerged and read the diverse range articles in the latest edition of Regenerate.

Bridging the gap between business and research can be a tricky endeavour, often one tackled best by those experienced in both fields. In late 2007, Australia’s Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr, knew this also, relying on his senior advisor to guide him. His advisor, Tim Murphy, was precisely this. He brought with him specialised knowledge and skills in both business and science, the cumulation of an expansive career. Little did we know then, that Tim would be joining us here at ARMI as a member of the Leadership Advisory Board (ARMILAB)

It’s a bittersweet time here at ARMI. Hozana Castillo, a postdoctoral researcher with the Kaslin Group, will be heading home to Brazil after two invigorating years with us. Although we're sad to see her go, we are excited to see her expand her career and move on to new challenges. Joining ARMI in 2016, Hozana has since made Australia her second home, growing strong bonds with fellow members of the Kaslin Group, ARMI and Melbourne.