Benjamin Raymond awarded top prize at International Congress
5 August 2016
UTS postdoctoral fellow Dr Benjamin Raymond has received the Louis Dienes award at the 21st Congress of the International Organization for Mycoplasmology, which was held recently in Brisbane.
The award recognises an outstanding poster in mycoplasmology and is awarded to a postdoctoral fellow who obtained their PhD degree within the last five years.
“It was great to be recognised for my work by the leading researchers in my field,” Dr Raymond said.
The poster and presentation focused on Dr Raymond’s current research into a pathogenic bacteria called Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae that affects pigs.
“I’m basically looking at how the bacterium interacts with its host - the pig - because not a lot is known on how this particular bacteria causes disease and persists within its host,” he said.
Dr Raymond is a member of Professor Steven Djordjevic’s research group at UTS’ ithree institute, whose aim is to increase the understanding, and control, of infectious diseases in humans and animals.
“It is personally very rewarding to see Ben develop during his time in my laboratory, commencing as an Honours student and evolving to become a talented and highly regarded postdoctoral scientist who gets acknowledged at a field-leading, international congress,” Professor Djordjevic said.
Dr Raymond’s interest in a career in mycoplasmology started during his undergraduate science degree where he developed a passion for the field of microbiology.
“We get to focus on things that you can’t see, things that are at micron level,” he said.
“Because they’re such complex organisms, even though they’re so small, it’s quite remarkable that they’re able to survive within humans and animals and cause such significant disease.”
In the future Dr Raymond hopes to continue his research into host-pathogen interactions. His aim is to help address the prevalence of infectious diseases and explore new ways of developing vaccine candidates.
“As I’m sure most people are aware there’s a big problem with the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria,” he said.
“So it would be nice if I could at least somewhat try and aid in stopping the prevalence of these antibiotic resistant bacteria by developing reliable vaccines.”