Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

Double scholarship honour for MacKillop PhD candidate

Jordan Loader

Jordan Loader, a high-flying PhD candidate in the MacKillop’s NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence to Reduce Inequality in Heart Disease, is celebrating after recently receiving two prestigious international research scholarships.

Jordan, who is currently completing a 12 month research fellowship at Harvard Medical School, received a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Dora Lush Biomedical Research Postgraduate Scholarship in January. This scholarship is designed to encourage outstanding honours graduates to gain biomedical research experience.

He was also awarded the Endeavour Scholarship in November 2015. This scholarship is an internationally competitive, merit-based award, funded by the Australian Government, that supports Australians to undertake research overseas. Jordan will travel to the University of Avignon, France, to begin his Endeavour Scholarship in August.

His research focuses on the short- and long-term cardiovascular effects of excess sugar consumption, with a special interest in the effect of commercial sugary drink ingestion on macro- and microvascular function in healthy subjects and those with cardiometabolic diseases.

Jordan said he was delighted with both of his awards and is looking forward to continuing his research in Europe, after a successful 12 months at Harvard.

“When I started my PhD I never imagined that I would be presented such prestigious awards supporting my research and allowing me to complete a program that spans three continents from ACU Melbourne, to Harvard University, then finishing at the University of Avignon,” he said.

Jordan is co-supervised by Dr Christian Lorenzen, School of Exercise Science, and Professor Simon Stewart, Director, Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research.

Professor Stewart said he had no doubt that Jordan would successfully transition to a world-leading researcher in his chosen field.

“Operating at levels of research excellence well-above world-standard and focussing on the short and long-term effects of sweet drinks (most of which is consumed by children and other vulnerable groups) Jordan is the epitome of our collective aspirations at the MacKillop to undertake world-class research that really makes a difference to people’s lives,” he said.

Jordan completed his Bachelor of Exercise Science (Honours) degree at ACU in 2009. He shifted his research focus prior to beginning his PhD from elite athletic performance and Sports Sciences to translational, clinical, and basic research in the area of cardiovascular function and disease.

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