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Honours Student Skye Holmwood Awarded The Joyce Fildes Scholarship.

At the beginning of this year, honours student Skye Holmwood was awarded the Joyce Fildes Honours Scholarship in Medical Science. This scholarship is highly competitive and is given based on academic merit. Having worked with Skye before, we are thrilled to see her dedication and intelligence recognised by the university. It's truly a well-deserved achievement.

We asked Skye to reflect on her academic journey and tell us about her aspirations moving into the future:

"My name is Skye Holmwood and whilst I’m only a few weeks into my 2024 Honours year with Clear Vision Research, I’m very excited to continue this journey. I’m honoured to have been awarded The Joyce Fildes Scholarship in Medical Sciences to support this endeavour. Dr Joyce Fildes was an original member of the John Curtin School of Medical Research, and made significant contributions to the medical community, ultimately recognised by the award of the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2000.

Clear Vision Research honours student Skye Holmwood.

My project will focus on identifying common protein pathways altered in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), the most common form of dementia. Since learning that we’re vulnerable to such a profound loss of memories, I've been captivated by the intricacies and complexities inherent to this problem. Further, despite significant efforts throughout the scientific community, currently available therapies merely manage symptoms and so, AD lingers without a cure or strategy to mitigate its progression. To address this urgent need, my research will delve into the intricate molecular pathways underlying AD, focusing on brain-derived extracellular vesicles (BDEVs) and their protein cargo. Extracellular vesicles, including BDEVs, are microscopic membrane-bound structures released by cells, playing crucial roles in intercellular communication. In my study, I initially aim to isolate and characterise BDEVs from the cortex of human AD brain tissue. I will then use targeted proteomics and total proteome analysis to determine which proteins are being differentially packaged into BDEVs in AD. Ultimately, the findings from this project will open up doors to explore new mechanisms and pathways affected in AD, paving the way towards a cure one step at a time.

Whilst the concept of a year-long project is new to me, during my undergrad, I've had the privilege of working on multiple scientific projects across different fields, gaining insight into the research process under enthusiastic mentors. These included delving into synthetic chemistry to engineer yeast for ethical nanobody production; repurposing FDA approved drugs for the treatment of Waldenström Macroglobulinaemia; experimenting with red blood cells as a potential treatment for age-related macular degeneration; and localizing critical signaling molecules in sponges to gain insights into conserved metabolic processes.

Through these diverse experiences, I’ve come to appreciate the exhilarating nature of research, however I’m particularly excited to now immerse myself into a longer, more focused venture. My journey in the 2024 Honours year with Clear Vision Research, supported by The Joyce Fildes Scholarship in Medical Sciences, marks a thrilling opportunity to not only learn and develop my scientific skills, but also to contribute towards our understanding of Alzheimer’s Disease. Looking forward, I’m eager to carry the momentum of this year's research into my future career in STEM, driven by a commitment to making meaningful contributions to the field of medical science."

Congratulations, Skye. We can't wait to see what you achieve over the course of the year!


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