Shining stars of student research

Jean Winter is among the winners of this year's Best Student Paper Awards.
Jean Winter is among the winners of this year’s Best Student Paper Awards.

Student research into adolescent sleep, early autism detection and chemical weapons are among the winners of Flinders University’s 2015 Best Student Paper Awards.

Higher degree research students Wondwossen Kassa, Emma Maguire, Genevieve Dennison, Katherine Moore, Michael Smith, Kate Bartel, Yong-Hwee Nah, Zoe Adey-Wakeling and Jean Winter have each received a cash prize of $1,000 for their research papers, to be presented at an official awards ceremony next month.

Launched in 2012 by Flinders Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor David Day, the awards aim to recognise, reward and promote outstanding student research across the University.

Mrs Winter, a Research Assistant at the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, has just completed her PhD investigating whether red meat consumption is a risk-factor for bowel cancer.

“We know red meat is a convincing cause of colorectal cancer but we don’t know the mechanisms of how this comes about so I looked at DNA lesions in the colon and whether these lesions are actually responsible for increasing the cancer risk,” Mrs Winter said.

“On top of that I looked at resistant starch, an undigested starch which ferments in the colon and is thought to have a protective effect against colorectal cancer,” she said.

Mrs Winter said winning the Best Student Paper Award was a “fantastic bonus” on top of her hard work to research, write and publish her studies.

“It’s extremely rewarding to be recognised for your work by getting your paper published and then winning an award for it.

“It adds to your CV and gives you a competitive edge over others to get postdoctoral positions.”

In congratulating the winners, Professor Day said student-led research at Flinders is diverse, dynamic and making genuine contributions to global advancement.

“The high calibre PhD research conducted year after year by our bright young minds is innovative and has real-world relevance, with the potential to result in meaningful outcomes for communities across the world,” Professor Day said.

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