BRIGHT Accelerator Award to boost vital research in 2023

22 Dec 2022
BRIGHT Accelerator Award to boost vital research in 2023

The inaugural Bright Accelerator Award has been awarded to Dr Andrew Shoubridge.

The honour comes with the prize of $100,000 in project funding, all made possible by the remarkable efforts of the 1300+ walkers and their funders who contributed to the BRIGHT Walk fundraiser.

“Winning the award was a real surprise, because I’m aware of all the amazing work being done at SAHMRI by so many deserving researchers,” Dr Shoubridge said.

“I was really honoured and humbled to be selected and I’m grateful for the opportunity provided to me by the community.”

Dr Shoubridge is a postdoctoral researcher in microbiology and neurobiology who’s work centres around finding solutions for age related chronic diseases, with a particular focus on dementia.

He’ll be working in collaboration with the Registry of Senior Australians (ROSA) to establish a template for research with the potential to be used globally for the monitoring of dementia and healthy ageing.

The project will also lead to discovering more about the mechanisms connecting gut microbiome and the brain, which could prove to play a significant role in preventing the onset of dementia.

“Studies have shown that healthy gut microbiome can help prevent inflammation that contributes to dementia risk. The development of new therapies targeting gut microbiology is an exciting new frontier in this field of research that I’m thrilled to be involved in,” Dr Shoubridge said.

The BRIGHT Accelerator Award has been created as a launchpad to boost SAHMRI’s brightest early and mid-career researchers to establish themselves as leaders in their field.

Grant funding is ultra-competitive in science, with only around 10% of applications succeeding and young researchers must fight especially hard for the privilege to run their studies.

“This award will enable me to lead and develop projects as a young researcher that’ll allow me to work towards bigger projects and larger scale funding in the future,” Dr Shoubridge said.

‘Thank you all so much. It’s not easy doing research and public support really helps us push the frontiers of science to create the healthier society we all want to live in.”

Dr Andrew Shoubridge - BRIGHT Award Winner
Dr Andrew Shoubridge receiving the BRIGHT Accelerator Award from Executive Director, Steve Wesselingh

Dr Shoubridge is delighted to become a BRIGHT Ambassador for 2023, a role in which he’ll promote his research and SAHMRI’s broader mission to the community.

“I’m really keen to get my shoes on and be a part of inspiring people to make the BRIGHT Walk 2023 the biggest and best yet,” Dr Shoubridge said.

“I really encourage everyone to get behind it because it brings much needed awareness to the fantastic research being done at SAHMRI and ultimately helps us save and improve lives.”

SAHMRI Executive Director, Professor Steve Wesselingh, says the $100,000 offering shows all the work put into the institute's primary fundraiser is now paying off.

“The funds raised by the BRIGHT Walk offer a unique opportunity to help our researchers during a critical phase in their development, when they’re building on ideas that contribute to making life better for all,” Prof Wesselingh said.

More details on the SAHMRI BRIGHT Walk 2023 will be released next year.

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