Dr Maryam Nakhjavani awarded a Dean’s Commendation and an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellowship

June 29, 2021

Dr Maryam Nakhjavani has received a Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence from The University of Adelaide and has been awarded a highly prestigious fellowship from Deakin University in Victoria.

Maryam completed her PhD with the Solid Tumour Group at the Basil Hetzel Institute, TQEH, under the supervision of Drs Jenny Hardingham and Amanda Townsend. Her thesis, titled “Ginsenoside Rg3 as a potential treatment for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer”, was conferred on 26 May. During the course of her PhD studies Maryam presented at 8 national and international conferences, published 7 peer-reviewed articles and received 3 awards in addition to her Dean’s Commendation. During her studies Maryam was supported by an International Wildcard Scholarship from The University of Adelaide. She writes “I am so grateful to my PhD supervisors, Drs Jenny Hardingham and Amanda Townsend. Their support and trust helped me put steps forward and finish the thesis with so many publications, presentations, and awards. I am so thankful to all the colleagues and friends in the Solid Tumour Group, especially Drs Eric Smith and Yoko Tomita, and to all my friends and BHI staff for providing such a friendly and supportive environment. I am also very thankful to my beloved husband, Dr Mohsen Sarafraz, for all the weekends he spent with me at BHI and all his sincere support throughout this journey.”

Maryam was awarded a 2021 Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, which she commenced on June 30. These fellowships are highly competitive and provide a pathway to receive a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) in the future. She says that “This fellowship provides me with a unique opportunity to work with world-class centres of research on cancer research over a two-year research program. I will work with the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation (IMPACT), while continuing my research in the school of medicine at Deakin University. In this project I will be developing the next generation of aptamers for the treatment of breast cancer with a special focus on brain metastasis. I will be working with Associate Professor Sarah Shigdar, an experienced scientist and world-leading expert, who is recognised internationally as the President of the International Society on Aptamers (INSOAP). This is an excellent opportunity for me, as a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), to grow in the field of anticancer drug development.” 

Maryam can be contacted via email: maryam.nakhjavani@deakin.edu.au  

Photo (L-R): Dr Jenny Hardingham and Dr Maryam Nakhjavani

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