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05 Dec 2018

Hamish McWilliam awarded AMP Tomorrow Fund grant

University of Melbourne’s Dr Hamish McWilliam, postdoctoral researcher at the Doherty Institute is one of 43 individuals sharing in this year’s $1 million AMP Tomorrow Fund.

Known as AMP Tomorrow Makers, the recipients of these annual AMP Foundations grants are making a difference in fields of science, social innovation, education, the arts, technology and sport.

Dr McWilliam started his career in animal immunology but is now taking a novel approach to fighting disease-causing bacteria and antibiotic resistance.

His research focuses on MR1 – a newly discovered molecular alarm system that captures bacterial waste products and alerts white blood cells of the need to fight a possible infection.

As people age or during illness, these defensive systems become less effective. Using chemical-biology techniques acquired at Rockefeller University, Dr McWilliam wants to learn exactly how our cells capture the bacterial waste with the view to developing ways of enhancing this molecular alarm system.

He was awarded $32,696 to further his research in this area.

“It’s fantastic to be a recipient of this award, and I’m really thankful to the AMP Foundation. It will be a great support in my research and allow me to undertake some exciting new experimental directions,” Dr McWilliam said.