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Dr Catherine Satzke honoured as inspiring woman in science

Institute News
Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 4:15pm
Dr Catherine Satzke
Dr Catherine Satzke has been honoured with an inaugural Inspiring Women Fellowship by veski at an awards ceremony this afternoon.

Dr Satzke, a Research Fellow in the Pneumococcal laboratory at Murdoch Children's Research Institute, was presented the award by The Honourable Linda Dessau AM, Governor of Victoria, along with three other recipients at Government House.

The Inspiring Women Fellowships provide $150,000 over three years to progress and assist the careers of Victorian female researchers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, to raise the profile of women in research institutes and support women balancing their career and family. Dr Satzke is currently on maternity leave after the birth of her second child.
“The veski fellowship will provide significant support for my career. Although I am well supported by the Institute, my team and family, it is very challenging to maintain a successful career whilst raising young children,” said Dr Satzke.

Dr Satzke's research focuses on pneumonia, one of the most pressing paediatric problems in the world. Her work explores the relationship between carriage of the pneumococcal bacteria, disease and vaccination, as well as measuring vaccine impact globally.

As well as leading microbiological research for an expanding program of work centred on vaccine impact studies in Fiji, Lao PDR and Mongolia, Dr Satzke contributes to vaccine trials in Vietnam, and carriage studies in Indonesia.

“The fellowship will contribute towards resources and staff working in my absence, continuing our research and our relationships with international collaborators and funders.  As such, the fellowship will be key in allowing my career trajectory to continue whilst raising a family,” said Dr Satzke.

Dr Catherine Satzke

The veski award marks yet another accolade in what has been a very successful career for Dr Satzke. In 2012 she won the Robert Austrian Award in Pneumococcal Vaccinology, a prestigious young investigator award, and her work continues to attract significant funding from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her work has been published in top peer-reviewed academic journals including PLOS Medicine.

However, Dr Satzke’s passion work is not driven by her various awards and grants, but through her love of scientific discovery.

“I have always been fascinated by bacteria and that these amazing lifeforms are so small and 'clever.' I love working in research because I can do something new every day - new for me, but also often something that hasn't been done by anyone else in the world before, and sometimes something that was once considered impossible!”

“I get to work with amazing people who are smart, dedicated and genuine. I've also had the opportunity to travel to countries such as Mongolia, Papua New Guinea and The Gambia.  It is a particular privilege as a laboratory scientist to work with a team of clinicians and researchers from low-income settings to make real clinical impact for the children who need it most.”

Read more about Dr Satzke’s work here:

Image credit - veski.org.au