May 8, 2018  Print

Twenty-two honours students at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research graduated from the University of Sydney on Tuesday 1 May.

Over the past year, the students took on research projects in a range of disciplines, including neuroscience, cancer, vision research, virology, and microbiology. 

Dr Monica Miranda Saksena, research fellow at the Westmead Institute, worked closely with the honours students throughout their time at the Institute, and praised their hard work. 

“We had a great cohort of friendly, motivated and enthusiastic honours students in the Westmead Honours program last year. 

“It was gratifying to see their research, critical thinking, presentation and interpersonal skills develop and grow throughout the year,” Dr Saksena said.

“The success of the program is evident in the students’ strong academic performance and their high rate of success in achieving PhD scholarships and jobs both in academia and industry.”

Orion Tong and Sing-Young Chen, who won the University Medal for their outstanding honours grades, were among the graduating students. 

Orion received the highest mark in the faculty of science for his research on the effects of HIV on the body’s immune response during an initial HIV infection. 

Although he is graduating, Orion’s research at the Westmead Institute has not finished yet. He will spend a year continuing his research as a research assistant with the Institute’s HIV Pathogenesis Group. 

“It was such an incredible experience to formally graduate – it was the icing on the cake of a wonderfully challenging yet rewarding year. 

“I've been lucky enough to continue my work at the Westmead Institute at the Centre for Virus Research as a research assistant,” Orion said.

Sing-Young received First Class Honours for her research into how a high-fat diet affects beta-cell gene expression in vivo, an important step towards preventing and treating type 2 diabetes.

“My time at Westmead has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I've learnt a lot here, more than I can describe, and probably even more than I realise,” she said. 

Thank you to our honours students for their hard work and dedication over the past year. We hope to see you return to the Westmead Institute to continue your careers in medical research.