The European Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology has awarded Gabriela de Moraes, a scholar working in the Ophthalmology Research Unit, a prestigious prize for best presentation at their annual meeting in a field of 596, and she received a cash award of 500 euros for her work on mechanisms of macular blindness. This achievement is even more amazing when it is considered that Gabriela is a Brazilian medical student from Faculdade de Medicina de Marília, and came to Australia on a one year Science without Borders Scholarship with little English.
“The opportunity to present at an international conference grew out of my research internship in A/Professor Christopher Layton’s laboratory, where I got practical experience in medical laboratory medicine and learned more about the philosophy of science,” she told UQ news. “I have now published an abstract in an international scientific journal and we are looking forward to publishing further articles on our laboratory findings.”
“I will return to my country as a better person and future professional,” she said. “By doing research I hope I can contribute in a small way to help people’s lives. What I definitely know is that my experience in Australia and at UQ has changed me forever and will always remain as one of the most important parts of me.”
In an unexpected twist, Gabriella’s achievement was also publicised widely in Brazil in her native Portuguese, with the Brazilian embassy adding it to their news dispatches. Gabriella has donated her prizemoney to further eye research.