Placement puts students at heart of Malaysian biotech and ‘networks’ research

Emilia Corbo and Renata Kucera New Colombo Plan
Renata Kucera (front left) and Emilia Corbo (far right) with Associate Professor Philip Koshy, Professor Amanda Ellis, Professor Michael Brunger, Professor Joe Shapter and Professor K Ratnavelu.

Flinders University students will play a key role in researching how social media information could be used to predict broader societal behaviours, and the use of peptides in biotechnology research in Kuala Lumpur, thanks to funding from the New Colombo Plan.

Emilia Corbo and Renata Kucera, from Flinders’ School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, are currently participating in research projects at the University of Malaya (UM), within the research groups of Professor K Ratnavelu and Associate Professor Philip Koshy.

They will take part in research projects focused on the emerging science of networks (maths algorithms that look for community structure in large sets of data, such as social media) and the chemistry of peptides.

Both students will also take lessons in the Bahasa Malay language, participate in networking events and have the opportunity to explore the cultural and social history of Malaysia.

The initiative is part of efforts to raise awareness of mobility opportunities among STEM students and foster research engagement with Malaysian universities.

In addition, it will provide the participating students with invaluable experience and skills for their later research careers, insight into the ethical conduct of research in an international context, and the opportunity to develop professional networks.

Flinders University’s Professor Michael Brunger said the visit was a unique opportunity for them to develop skills and understanding into areas of scientific importance, and to better understand the culture of a country that is both a major trading partner and ally of Australia in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The New Colombo Plan is a wonderful scheme that enables our leaders of tomorrow to better understand the history and culture of our friends in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Professor Brunger.

“University Malaya has very good IT and laboratory infrastructure that will enable Renata and Emilia to broaden and further their expertise.”

The funding provided to students is part of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan which will see around 190 Flinders University students take part in mobility projects across the Indo-Pacific throughout 2016.

For more information follow the link: http://dfat.gov.au/people-to-people/new-colombo-plan/Pages/new-colombo-plan.aspx.

To read Flinders students Emilia Corbo and Renata Kucera’s  blog posts about the trip, click here and here.

 

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