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EMBL Australia, learning, growing, networking
Dear <<First Name>>

Welcome to the new year and an exciting chapter in the ongoing development of EMBL Australia.

As the incoming Chairman of EMBL Australia Council, I wanted to introduce myself and personally provide some insight into the development process of the next phase of our organisation.

Most of our community would be aware that the Host Organisation, Scientific Head and Secretariat Services for the next phase of EMBL Australia is in a process of deliberation and those discussions are continuing at this time. In the last newsletter Professor Nadia Rosenthal bid us farewell, but considering the process is taking longer than expected and we are reluctant to let her go so easily, Professor Nadia Rosenthal has kindly agreed to remain Scientific Head of EMBL Australia until those deliberations are concluded over the next couple of months. Meanwhile, it’s (scientific) business as usual.

In accepting the role of Council Chairman I’d like to thank the outgoing inaugural Chairman Professor Richard Larkins for his enthusiastic contribution in establishing and furthering the EMBL Australia initiative.

We are fortunate that Universities Australia, the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) and Bioplatforms Australia have joined with CSIRO to help lead the EMBL Australia initiative. This group will build on the work previously done by CSIRO and the Group of Eight Universities to firmly establish EMBL Australia in the Australian life sciences research landscape. As per Associate Membership requirements these along with other governance realignments have been undertaken in consultation with EMBL over the past months and will ensure EMBL Australia is aligned with the EMBL principles of excellence in research and governance.

Looking forward to 2016 there are many plans afoot; welcoming new scientific talent, offering extraordinary education and networking opportunities both inbound and outbound as well as improving our communication infrastructure. The first big development you will see early this year will be the refresh of the EMBL Australia website.

Looking back over the past seven years, EMBL Australia has created a unique advantage for emerging Australian scientific talent. I’d like to extend my congratulations and thanks to the wide circle of EMBL Australia colleagues, enablers and advocates who have each played a part in our success to date. Together we have enriched and contributed towards a sustainable international collaborative framework which positions Australian discoveries in the spotlight and offers our scientists access to an extraordinarily valuable professional knowledge network. I’m confident that the next chapter in our history will be equally exciting, enhancing and accelerating Australia’s track record of scientific excellence.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Brandon Wainwright
Chairman, EMBL Australia

Please note that all replies to this newsletter go to If you wish to email me directly, my address is

In this month's newsletter:

Dr Pirjo Apaja appointed as EMBL Australia Group Leader, SAHMRI

Pirjo Apaja headshotDr Pirjo Apaja is originally from Finland where she undertook her PhD at the University of Oulu, Institute of Biomedicine. Her PhD focus was on the phenomenon called protein quality control (QC). QC fundamentally includes all the components needed for detecting, removing and degrading damaged disease associated or otherwise conformationally challenged proteins. After finishing her PhD, Pirjo worked at The Institute for Biomedicine in Finland, followed by a move to Canada where she undertook research at the Hospital for Sick Children at Toronto and the University of Toronto. Pirjo is currently at McGill University in Canada, as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Physiology where she has been researching membrane proteins conformational sorting at the cell periphery.

Congratulations on your appointment Pirjo and welcome to EMBL Australia, we wish you every success.

Internships still available for MSc or PhD students at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals is offering a variety of internships, which are open to EMBL Australia students/staff. Further information can be found on:

If you are interested in joining the Merrimack internship program write to
Copyright © 2016 EMBL Australia, All rights reserved.

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