PhD student wins top honour

A Biomedical Science PhD student from the Curtin University of Technology has won the 2008 AusBiotech GSK award for developing a strain of bacteria that can be used to solubilise mineral deposits.

A Biomedical Science PhD student from the Curtin University of Technology has won the 2008 AusBiotech GSK award for developing a strain of bacteria that can be used to solubilise mineral deposits.

The second year PhD student, Melissa Corbett, received a trip to Melbourne to attend the Australian Biotechnology Conference where she presented her research.

Corbett said biotechnology was still in its infancy and as such came with a large scope for research.

“I am really looking forward to learning more about where my research can take me in the future after attending the conference.”

Corbett’s research focused on the metabolic functions of a particular strain of bacteria and how this information can be used to advance biomining technologies, having implications for the way in which minerals will be extracted in the future.

This research is especially important for WA with its wealth of mineral deposits in the north of the State to allow easier methods of mining in the future.

After completing her Bachelor of Science (Molecular Genetics) with honours at Curtin University in 2001, Corbett worked in Sydney for two years before working at Kings College, London doing research for two years.

She returned to WA in 2007 to start her PhD which she hopes to complete in 2010.

Corbett is also undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation through the Australian Technology Network, of which Curtin is a member.

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