Usher Syndrome researcher takes off prestigious award

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Ear Science Research Fellow, Dr Abbie Francis, is a young researcher to watch!

Her drive to help patients with a rare genetic condition had secured her nomination for the Ana Africh Stem Cell Research Travel Award, and now, she’s taken off the prestigious student award.

Using adult stem cells, Dr Francis reverse engineers a unique kind of cell with almost unlimited potential, then uses them to treat cells affected by Usher Syndrome. Usher Syndrome is a debilitating condition that causes hearing, sight and balance to all deteriorate, sometimes at the same time. There is currently no cure. Dr Francis’ team, led by A/Prof Rod Dilley and Dr Elaine Wong, is working to find a cure.

Dr Francis said she was honoured to receive the award.

“It recognises that the work we are doing is of a high standard and is meaningful. This is the first competitive award I have applied for in the stem cell field, and will hopefully be a springboard for future grants and awards to continue this work.

Learn more about our work on Usher Syndrome.