Dame Margaret Blackwood Soroptimist Scholarship

Ms Danielle Christesen

Danielle Christesen (PhD, BioSciences)

Danielle is investigating the role of nicotine receptors outside of the brain, in tissues such as heart muscle. Danielle states that:
"nicotine receptors are important insecticide targets and are linked to a range of human diseases, however our knowledge of them is largely focused upon their role in the brain. I currently use the fruit fly for my research, and I hope to pursue a research career using the fruit fly and other model organisms to develop advanced genetic manipulation techniques."

My scholarship is in memory of Dame Margaret Blackwood, who had a distinguished career in genetic research and was the first female deputy vice chancellor here at the University of Melbourne. She was also an honorary member of the Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific, so she was heavily involved in improving education and leadership opportunities for women and girls. Knowing this background makes the award all the more meaningful to me.

Presented by: Dr Christine Paton
Presented on: Wednesday 29 July 2015

Established in 1990 following an appeal by the Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific and the University of Melbourne to celebrate Dame Margaret's legacy.

Dame Margaret was highly by the international Soroptimist community and chaired the committee of Soroptimist clubs of Australia and New Zealand in the 1950s. She worked to improve the status of women and in 1975 convened a University working group on the position of women on campus.

She was awarded an MBE in 1964 and a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1981 for services to education and the community. [Soroptimist International is a global organisation for women in management and the professions working to advance human rights and the status of women.]