September 1, 2017
WIMR research student Orion Tong was awarded the best oral presentation prize at the 9th Annual Australasian Society for Immunology NSW/ACT Branch Conference.
Orion received the prize for his research investigating the role of innate immunity in HIV infection, particularly the effects of early antiviral responder cells on the main target cells of HIV.
Orion said he hoped the long term outcomes of his research project – Plasmayctoid dendritic cells: responses to HIV during initial mucosal infection – would contribute to uncovering new vaccine strategies and considerations.
“Once we understand how HIV beats the body’s early immune response to get a foothold infection in the body, we could interrupt this, and after further research and testing this could lead to a vaccine,” Orion explained.
Orion said that attending the conference and presenting his oral presentation was an opportunity to receive feedback on his project ahead of completing his degree later this year.
“Attending this conference was a chance for me to meet local researchers and other students who are interested in the same field.
“It is good to know what other research is being undertaking by other students and institutes.
“It was a chance to tease out anything I may have missed ahead of completing my thesis,” he said.
Orion also acknowledged and thanked his supervisor Dr Najla Nasr for her contribution to his research.
"I am grateful for her support with both my research project and my oral presentation at the conference,” he concluded.
Orion, who is completing his honours degree through the University of Sydney, was awarded a cash prize for his presentation.