Brazilian research student Roberta De Paula Martins is completing a cotutelle PhD at Macquarie with the support of the Brazilian Government.
Brazilian research student Roberta De Paula Martins is completing a cotutelle PhD at Macquarie with the support of the Brazilian Government.

Brazilian’s brain research boosted with scholarship

Some of Brazil’s brightest researchers are headed to Australia, thanks to the Brazilian Government’s Science Without Borders scholarship program that will see 100,000 students and researchers enrol at top universities worldwide.

Macquarie’s first Science Without Borders research student is Roberta De Paula Martins, who will complete a cotutelle PhD with Macquarie and her home university the Federal University of Santa Catarina.

Roberta is studying the effect on the brain of a molecule called neopterin, which is released during inflammation. In recent years neopterin has been studied as a biomarker of neurodegenerative diseases.

Roberta is benefiting from Macquarie’s expertise in this area, in particular the work being done in the Deb Bailey Motor Neurone Disease Research Centre in the Australian School of Advanced Medicine at Macquarie University Hospital.

“Macquarie has an excellent research team in this field,” Roberta says. “The research of my supervisor Professor Gilles Guillemin is strongly related to my own research and I believe his experience and knowledge will contribute a lot to my project.”

“Macquarie also has a research laboratory with all the infrastructure required to do a great job.”

As a cotutelle student, Roberta is benefiting from expertise and supervision in two different continents.

“Being a student of both universities makes a real difference for my research experience,” she says. “As a cotutelle student I have access to the same facilities and support as any other research student.”

“Seeing how different labs and groups work in different ways and see things in different ways has been a real education.”

Roberta says that with the support of both the Science Without Borders scholarship and Macquarie University, she is feeling very motivated.

“I have received orientation on how to conduct my project and thesis, and with the generous stipend provided by Science Without Borders, I can focus on my research instead of worrying about making ends meet.”

Professor Guillemin wearing his gift from Roberta, a Brazilian football jersey

Read more about scholarships for higher degree research at Macquarie University.