Applications open for Moderna's 2024 Australia Fellowship Program

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Moderna has announced that applications are open for its 2024 Australia Fellowship Program.

The program, first launched in 2023, will award two fellowships to Australian researchers working on concepts that have the potential to enable the advancement of mRNA medicines.

"Last year, we were delighted with the calibre of applicants and witnessed the remarkable potential of Australian researchers to contribute to the field of mRNA medicine," said Dr Craig Rayner, director of Moderna's Regional Research Centre for Respiratory Medicines and Tropical Diseases.

"As we enter the second year of our fellowship program, we are excited to maintain this momentum, supporting the brightest minds in Australia's scientific community and fostering research that has the potential to lead to groundbreaking mRNA medical treatments.”

The Moderna Australia Fellowship Program is an all-inclusive learning and development opportunity, with training and education covering areas essential for mRNA medicine R&D.

As well as a grant of up to $250,000 annually over two years, each awardee will receive mentorship, experiential learning, and collaboration with Moderna’s R&D teams to support the recipient’s industry capabilities.

The curriculum will include regulatory, translational, and pharmaceutical sciences, R&D life cycle, project management, and communication and leadership skills to build individual effectiveness.

This learning program will be delivered via experiential learning, online courses from Moderna University, and in person at the Regional Research Centre for Respiratory Medicines and Tropical Diseases in Melbourne.

The 2023 fellowships were awarded to Dr Lauren Holz from the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and Dr Vihandha Wickramasinghe from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Dr Holz’s lab will advance her earlier work to develop an mRNA vaccine that provides the body instructions to make a protein that has been shown to eradicate malaria parasites.

Dr Wickramasinghe aims to leverage his work on RNA subtypes and accompanying regulatory processes in his laboratory to develop new RNA-targeting therapies to treat cancer.

The 2024 applications are open until June 30. Applications can be made online.