The ORIGINS Project Biobank team joined other Telethon Kids Institute researchers on Wadjemup (Rottnest Island) at the annual Wal-yan Respiratory Research Centre Scientific Retreat.
The annual retreat is a highlight on the respiratory researcher's calendar and this year did not disappoint with a change in program providing fresh perspectives with the addition of a lunchtime poster session, Shark Tank pitch and a shake-up to the New Investigator student session.
Biobank Manager, Dr Nina D’Vaz was one of six finalists in the Shark Tank competition which provides winners with seed funding for their project. The researchers had five minutes to pitch their idea and then faced the panel of ‘sharks’ during a 10-minute Q&A session.
Starting her pitch with a performed mock scenario of a confused parent on a phone call to a research assistant, trying to answer questions about her ill child, she painted a picture of how important accurate data collection is and how it can be impacted when relying on parental reports and feedback.
Nina's creative pitch led to her project “Early Life Virus Identification; Improving detection strategies” being awarded as one of the three winners. Congratulations to Nina (pictured below with fellow winners, Dr Thomas Iosifidis and Dr Sam Montgomery) and her team.
The ORIGINS Biobank team also presented a poster at the retreat outlining new protocols for processing placental tissue as part of the AERIAL sub-project.
The Wal-yan Scientific Retreat is an example of collaboration at its finest, with researchers able to network and share ideas in a relaxed environment.