Venom and its bio-applications are being investigated by Dr Michela Mitchell from Northern Queensland who sets off overseas for her Winston Churchill Fellowship to visit Belgium, Denmark, France, UK and the US.

Michela will visit researchers and collections of snakes, jellyfish, sea anemones and other venomous animals, including Seattle Children’s Research Institute where toxins from venomous animals such as scorpions are being used to develop pharmaceuticals.

Michela has completed her masters and doctorate in sea anemone biology (taxonomy and venom expertise). Her doctoral research focused on the toxins in sea anemone venom and evaluating their potential for drug development to treat autoimmune disease.

Venom bio-applications include drugs to treat disease such as stroke or Parkinson’s, anti-venom, or to control parasites/pests detrimental to the agriculture industry.

Adam Davey, CEO of the Winston Churchill Trust congratulated Michela on her Fellowship and wishes her well on her travels for this important scientific research.

Mr Davey said “Michela has already established relationships and trained under leading Australian venom researchers. By heading overseas Michela’s access to international experts will provide the opportunity to gain knowledge of techniques and learn processes not used in Australia to develop new research strategies.”

“Over the years, many Queenslanders have been sent overseas through Churchill Fellowships to learn about a topic they’re passionate about, and bring these learnings back to Australia.”

“We want to see more passionate Queenslanders think about applying for a Churchill Fellowship. There are no limits to what your topic could be. There are no educational requirements.”

“Start thinking now about the topic, where you’d like to go and what you would study or explore to build knowledge.” said Mr Davey

For nearly 60 years, the Winston Churchill Trust has flown talented Australians around the globe to pursue their passion and bring their knowledge home. Churchill Fellows are people from all walks of life and all sectors; the arts, science, health, agriculture, and beyond. The breadth of topics for Churchill Fellowships are limitless.