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Seven impressive young scholars from New Zealand recently joined HRI for almost two months of hands-on experience in world-class research facilities.

The summer scholarship program provides high-achieving New Zealand students with the opportunity to get hands-on experience in our world-class laboratory facilities, while being mentored by leaders in the cardiovascular disease research field.

The scholarship kicked off with two days of inductions, where our scholars met HRI’s research group leaders and toured the biological facilities and campus. A welcome party – just one of several social events on the calendar – also ensured they met key support members, such as marketing and communications, fundraising and the operations teams, and provided the chance to mingle with their peers.

Then it was down to learning as much as possible, with each scholar following a personalised timetable filled with scientific workshops covering topics such as safety shower and eyewash testing, tissue culture, microscopy, 3D printing and microfluidics.

The workshops were held at HRI’s laboratories at Eliza Street, Newtown and at the Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney so the students could access and learn about the different facilities and state-of-the-art equipment available.

This provided the students with the chance to use and learn about equipment they would not otherwise have access to in New Zealand.

Each scholar was assigned to their preferred research group, while also having the opportunity to join weekly journal clubs, laboratory meetings and seminars for exposure to as many different research groups and projects as possible.

They were also assigned a student buddy – an existing HRI student or researcher – to be their dedicated point of contact throughout their experience and to help answer any questions, large or small. HRI researchers provided mentorship, leadership and regular feedback to the scholars, with group leaders overseeing the program.

Hear what our scholars had to say about their experience

Anthony Zemke, University of Auckland – Cardiovascular Medical Devices

“So many machines that HRI has are pieces of equipment that you actually don’t find in New Zealand, because of either how expensive they are or the fact that they’re so niche.”

Genevieve Middleton, University of Auckland – Thrombosis

“This was a good opportunity to work with technology I hadn’t worked with before and meet world-renowned scientists I wouldn’t otherwise have access to.”

Jolyn Pan, University of Waikato – Cardiovascular-protective Signalling and Drug Discovery

“I’m interested in medical research because it’s really dynamic and constantly changing and evolving, and I find that really exciting.”

Ivy Guan, University of Auckland – Cardiovascular-protective Signalling and Drug Discovery

“It gave me to opportunity to meet a lot of good scientists, and I can talk to them to get a better idea of what my future career path could look like.”

Madison Chu, University of Auckland – Cardiovascular Medical Devices

“I could never have gotten this experience anywhere else, and especially not in New Zealand for my field.”

Michaela Jeong, University of Auckland – Thrombosis

“The highlight has been being able to meet a lot of people from different backgrounds studying the things I feel quite passionate about, and broadening my horizons and trying different things with different people in a completely different environment.”

Sophie Zheng, University of Auckland– Haematology

“I’ve learned a lot of new techniques. I’ve gained a bit of insight into what it’s like working in research.”

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