Silk innovation by PhD student recognised at conference

Awards and Achievements

PhD student at the Heart Research Institute, Elysse Filipe has been recognised by her peers at the Australian Society of Medical Researchers (ASMR) conference, held in Sydney on Monday, 6 June.  

Elysse was one of five HRI researchers selected to present their work as an oral presentation at the conference held during National Research Week. She was awarded with ‘Best Oral Presentation’ in the PhD category.  

“It felt really good to be recognised at this conference,” she said. “I am happy to know that other people enjoy learning about my work as much as I enjoy doing it.” 
Elysse’s PhD research focuses on using silk from silk worm cocoons as a biomaterial to make artificial blood vessels.  

"If successful, this could revolutionise the treatment of coronary artery disease. Current treatments use blood vessels harvested from the arms and legs of the patients, which are then implanted around the heart to improve coronary blood flow. However in many cases, the use of the patients own vessels is not recommended due to pre-existing vessel disease, advanced age or even because the vessels have already been used for something else. There is currently no 'off-the-shelf’ alternative for these patients."

"If I am able to create an artificial blood vessel in the lab, it would allow treatment for coronary artery disease without having to use the patient’s own vessels". 

Other HRI representatives who were selected to speak at the conference included:  

  • Pradeep Cholan, PhD student, Vascular Complications Group 
  • Scott Genner, Research Assistant, Vascular Complications Group 
  • Dominic Love, Post Doc, Inflammation Group; and 
  • Richard Tan, PhD Student, Translational Research 
Ninety researchers were selected to give poster presentations, including many HRI representatives.  

Over 160 people attended the Scientific Meeting, including the Honourable Scott Farlow, MLC (representing the Honourable Pru Goward, MP). The speakers and presentations came from a broad range of fields, showcasing the diversity of medical research in NSW, and the quality was exceptional. 

The ASMR is the peak professional society representing Australian health and medical research.  

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