Peter Mac's Professor Mark Dawson has been selected as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) International Research Scholar. The scholarship recognises Prof Dawson as a leading early-career scientist working outside of the G7 group of countries.

Prof Dawson is Head of the Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory, and Program Head of Translational Haematology, at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.

“I am extremely honoured, and excited, to be selected as an HHMI International Research Scholar,” Prof Dawson says.

“This will ensure my lab can grow and fast-track our work towards new and more effective treatments for blood cancers, such as acute myeloid leukaemia, which are difficult to eradicate using traditional chemotherapies.”

Prof Dawson's research is focused on understanding how normal and malignant stem cells differ, as a step towards finding ways to wipe out malignant stem cells without harming normal stem cells. The scholarship will provide US$650,000 over five years to cover salaries for trainees and staff, lab supplies and equipment, travel or publication costs and other initiatives to support Prof Dawson's work.  

The International Research Scholars Program - supported by HHMI and also the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation – seeks to foster scientific talent outside of the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Eligibility criteria includes running a lab in a non-G7 country for less than seven years.

A total 41 HHMI scholarships were announced today, including Prof Dawson among six Australian recipients and five who are based in Melbourne.

Australian HHMI scholarship recipients

Mark Dawson, MD, PhD, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre - HHMI International Research Scholar

Kathryn Holt, PhD, University of Melbourne - HHMI-Gates International Research Scholar

Ryan Lister, PhD, University of Western Australia - HHMI International Research Scholar

Laura Mackay, PhD, University of Melbourne - HHMI-Gates International Research Scholar

Seth Masters, PhD, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute - HHMI-Wellcome International Research Scholar

Wai-Hong Tham, PhD, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute - HHMI-Wellcome International Research Scholar