Dr Laura Bray

​Endeavour Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship

 

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Dr Laura Bray
 
Country of origin:  Australia

Home organisation:  Queensland University of Technology

Host organisation:  Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research, Dresden, Germany

Research field:  Biological Sciences
 
 
I believe this scholarship assisted me in leading the advancement of women in the field of tissue engineering and medical research by firstly giving me a stepping stone into a productive career, and secondly the ability to mentor the next generation of young female scientists.
 

 Dr Laura Bray continues her promising research in developing a new generation of more physiologically relevant culture models.

 

 Dr Laura Bray graduated with a Bachelor of Science 2006 from the University of the Sunshine Coast. At the end of her honours degree at the Queensland University of Technology in 2008 she was awarded First Class Honours for her research project which resulted in novel developments in bone marrow transplantation therapies.


Laura later completed her PhD at the Queensland University of Technology where she investigated the ability to create three dimensional (3D) constructs of ocular tissue for future transplantation purposes.


Her PhD project stimulated her interests into making more physiologically relevant cell culture models and she applied for the Endeavour Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship with the objective of learning more about creating biological microenvironments to use as a culture method.

 

Quality research opportunities

For her Endeavour scholarship, Dr Bray selected the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research as her host institution and says,

 

“My supervisor, Professor Carsten Werner, is a world-renowned leader in the research field of creating synthetic matrices which can be modified to imitate different cellular environments.
 
“For my project, I utilised these matrices in order to create customised culture platforms for cornea, leukaemia, as well as breast and prostate cancer tissue.”
 

Highlights of the scholarship

During her scholarship, Laura had the opportunity to collaborate with other research teams and clinicians. She found the experience was enlightening, inspiring and encouraging.
 
“My scholarship enabled me to learn and achieve so much, especially in developing exciting new technologies which can improve Australian medical research and contribute to developing a new generation of more physiologically relevant culture models.
 
“I have presented my work and been invited to speak at various European conferences in tissue engineering. Furthermore, I have had the opportunity to meet high profile research leaders in my field.
 
“My experiences have taught me project management skills and have founded career long collaborations.”
 

What opportunities have there been since completing the scholarship?

After completing her Endeavour scholarship Laura accepted a year-long contract at the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research Dresden to continue her promising research. In June 2015 her research article Multi-parametric hydrogels support 3D in vitro bioengineered microenvironment models of tumour angiogenesis, (Biomaterials, Impact Factor: 8.31, 06/2015) was published.
 
When she returns to Australia Laura aims to utilise her skills and experience to establish herself as an independent researcher leading her own research group in engineered 3D culture models.
 

Recommendations for future students

Laura believes students should build their research network through conference visits, past and present supervisors, and be proactive and seek funding opportunities to support their research, such as the Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships.
 
“If you have an opportunity such as I have had, make the most of it, collaborate with others, assist with other projects, be open-minded and you will learn so much more.”
 

Alumni Network

After completing the Endeavour programme, participants like Dr Bray become part of an alumni network which enables them to continue to build and develop valuable relationships and network with peers.
 

About the Endeavour Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship

The Endeavour Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship marks the 60th anniversary of the accession of Her Majesty the Queen in perpetuity and is awarded to a high achieving Australian female postgraduate and/or postdoctoral fellow who will contribute to the advancement of women’s leadership in Australia.
 

About the Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships

The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarships that provide opportunities for Australians and overseas citizens to undertake study, research and professional development around the world.
 

Further information

Visit Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships http://internationaleducation.gov.au/endeavour for further details on how to apply.
 
 

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