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27 Dec 2023

NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship backs Dr Chu’s research on unconventional T cells in MS

Dr Melissa Chu is one of only sixty exceptional health and medical graduates from around Australia to be granted a Postgraduate Scholarship by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). 

NHMRC’s Postgraduate Scholarships are very competitive and offered to a limited number of graduates of outstanding ability who wish to make research a significant component of their career.  

Dr Chu is a qualified clinician specialising in multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves). She is now undertaking her PhD studies jointly supervised by Professor Dale Godfrey, Dr Nicholas Gherardin and Dr Adam Uldrich at the Doherty Institute, Professor Tomas Kalincik at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Professor Trevor Kilpatrick at the Florey. 

Dr Chu’s PhD project ‘Unconventional T cells: a potential new treatment target in multiple sclerosis’ aims to study the role of unconventional T cells (including MAIT cells, gamma delta T cells and NKT cells, and their ligands) in patients with multiple sclerosis. 

“I am delighted to receive a Postgraduate Scholarship by the NHMRC, to support my research. My work will focus on studying unconventional T cell activation, migration, and interactions with other immune cells to better understand MS and discover potential treatments, particularly in the areas of progressive disease and disease prevention,” said Dr Chu. 

“This is an exciting project that is made possible by Melissa’s expertise and clinical experience, along with the collaborative, cross-institute supervisory team,” said Professor Godfrey. 

“The prestigious NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship is terrific recognition of Melissa and her proposed work. This will be invaluable in ensuring that Melissa will be well supported through these studies.” 

Find out more about the NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme.