Momentum Fellows

Dr Vanessa Ferdinand

Dr Vanessa Ferdinand is a researcher in Computational Cognitive Science in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. The Momentum Fellowship will support Vanessa to progress a new collaboration with the Melbourne Centre for Data Science, specifically on predictive processing in human behaviour and the extraction of causal features from complex data. The Fellowship provides Vanessa with research independence and resources to complete existing projects and develop new collaborations that focus on her career development.

Dr Claudia Marck

Dr Claudia Marck is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. Claudia's research focuses on improving health outcomes for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic neurological disease, most commonly diagnosed in young women. This Fellowship will enable Claudia to increase her research outputs and re-build national and international collaborations. It will also enable her to undertake knowledge translation and exchange activities including, for example, developing materials for clinicians with the aim to improve practice.

Dr Alexandra Devine

Alex Devine is a leading disability researcher in the Disability and Health Unit at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. Alex has led innovative disability-inclusive research and development projects in Australia and internationally. Her research aims to improve the experience of engaging with disability systems such as Disability Employment Services (DES) and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Momentum Fellowship will support Alex to progress research focusing on people with psychosocial conditions, First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse communities and how they engage with these complex systems.

Dr Emily Karanges

Emily Karanges is a Research Fellow in youth substance use and mental health in the Centre for Youth Mental Health. With a background in behavioural neuroscience and pharmacoepidemiology, Emily's research focuses on early intervention and youth-focused treatment development for problematic cannabis use and withdrawal. The Momentum Fellowship will enable Emily to develop a program of research on cannabis use disorder and its treatment in young people. The fellowship will support Emily's  expertise in clinical trial and cannabis use research, generating critical pilot data to support funding applications, strengthening collaborations, and building leadership capacity.

Dr Sheila Patel

Sheila Patel is a Senior Research Fellow based in the Department of Medicine at Austin Health,  Melbourne Medical School. Her research identifies novel biomarkers of cardiovascular disease. The goal of her research is to use personalised medicine to prevent or delay cardiovascular disease and its complications, by developing new treatment strategies in cardiovascular disease. The Momentum Fellowship will support Sheila's research goals, enhance her competitiveness for funding applications and research independence and build her leadership capacity.

Dr Jess Heerde

Jess Heerde is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics (Melbourne Medical School), Research Fellow (Westpac Scholars Trust) and Honorary Research Fellow (Centre for Adolescent Health, Population Health Studies of Adolescents, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute). She is a research leader in youth homelessness.  The Momentum Fellowship will help Jess to progress and build momentum for subsequent funding applications and enhance her capacity for her ongoing research and advocacy in this field.

Dr Kate Filia

Kate Filia is an emerging leader in the field of social inclusion and mental health. Based in the Centre for Youth Mental Health, Kate has developed a novel measure of social inclusion, and a research program dedicated to understanding differences between, and improving, social inclusion across psychiatric diagnoses, developmental stages, in caregivers and at-risk population groups. Kate has experienced significant career interruptions and this fellowship will enhance her capacity to pursue opportunities as an independent researcher, as well as leverage opportunities for future funding support.