The General Sir John Monash Foundation has today announced it has awarded a 2021 scholarship to Melbourne medical oncology research fellow, Ashray Gunjur, following the news of 2006 John Monash Scholar, Professor Mark Dawson winning the Prime Minister’s Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year for his contribution to cancer treatments.
Raised and educated in Melbourne, Dr Gunjur is currently a medical oncology research fellow at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre in Melbourne and is passionate about improving cancer treatments for all Australians. Dr Gunjur plans to attend the world-leading Wellcome Sanger Institute at Cambridge University, to complete his PhD in cancer immunotherapy: the revolution in cancer treatment that harnesses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.
Annemarie Rolls, CEO of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, said the Foundation was incredibly proud of Professor Mark Dawson and was thrilled to continue its support for the important area of oncology research with new scholar Ashray Gunjur.
“We congratulate Professor Dawson on this milestone achievement of winning the Prime Minister’s top prize for science. It’s been a pleasure to watch him excel since his postgraduate studies and we continue to be inspired by his research and achievements. We’d also like to congratulate Ashray Gunjur on his 2021 scholarship which is made possible through the support of Helen and Michael Gannon. We’re very excited to see what Ashray achieves in the coming years,” said Ms Rolls.
Professor Dawson is a clinician scientist at the Peter MacCallum Centre in Melbourne working on discovery-based studies on cancer development and research into improved cancer detection and prognosis, and more precise cancer treatments. He is an internationally recognised pioneer in the development of a brand-new class of epigenetic drugs which have the potential to change the way cancers behave.
Prof Dawson said he was thankful to the General Sir John Monash Foundation for believing in him and their support at a crucial time in his professional trajectory which has led him to be in a position to win the Prime Minister’s prestigious prize for science.
“I’m incredibly honoured to be awarded the Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year and I’d like to recognise the role the General Sir John Monash Foundation played in this success. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Foundation’s support which gave me the opportunity to study at Cambridge University and played a critical role in shaping the career and research I’m so passionate about today. I’m excited to see that the Foundation has continued its support for the life sciences and has awarded medical oncology research fellow, Dr Ashray Gunjur, a 2021 scholarship for his further studies. I look forward to seeing what Ashray achieves in his research and the further developments he contributes to cancer treatments,” said Prof Dawson.
Dr Ashray Gunjur said he was extremely grateful to be among those awarded for a 2021 scholarship with the General Sir John Monash Foundation.
“I’m very much looking forward to furthering my studies and am extremely grateful to the Foundation as well as Helen and Michael Gannon for this opportunity. I’d also like to extend a huge offer of congratulations to Professor Mark Dawson on his incredible achievement of winning the Prime Minister’s Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year. He is an inspiration to us all, and a role model for how much a career as a clinician-scientist can contribute. I am personally indebted to Professor Dawson, both for his teaching whilst I was a junior doctor working in the haematology ward, and also his mentorship in how I too might combine science into my clinical career, to better serve the patients that need it most,” said Dr Gunjur.