Micah Burch is a researcher at the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute. The Harold Mitchell Health Fellowship let him visit the laboratory of Professor Rik Derynck at the University of California, a world-leading research scientist in the field of growth factor signalling. Micah also attended the 16th International Vascular Biology Meeting in Los Angeles, and made a poster presentation of his PhD work to date. This led to a discussion and helpful feedback from leading vascular biologists from around the world.
Micah says that the fellowship “allowed me to meet and exchange ideas with a leading researcher in my field.” It also facilitated my engagement with the broader scientific community ... and generated important feedback on my work from ‘the best of the best”, which has proved invaluable to my project.”
“There exists,” says Micah, “a paradox in the life of an early career scientist. International travel, particularly to attend meetings, is important for networking and the development of one’s work, however, this is met with resistance due to the poor financial state of a PhD candidate ... The HMF fellowship alleviates this “rock and hard place” conundrum for any person in this situation.”
“Right now I am finalising my PhD thesis. It has been a very tough but rewarding four years that is finally coming to a close, and the generosity of the HMF fellowship has ensured that I have the best chance at a bright and successful future and that there is light at the end of the tunnel!”