2018 Co-Fellow, Dr Tamsyn van Rheenen doubles her conference exposure

June 2019

2018 Co-Fellow, Dr Tamsyn van Rheenen recently returned from a successful four days both chairing and presenting her work at the Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS) annual conference in Orlando, Florida during April as part of her Club Melbourne Fellowship. 

Tamsyn chaired and presented during a symposium titled ‘The neurobiology of cognition across the psychoses: evidence from diverse modalities and across different illness stages’. She also co-authored eight posters presented throughout the conference, all of which were incredibly well received by her fellow researchers. 

As a result of her attendance at SIRS, Tamsyn is now developing two new collaborations with leading researchers in Montreal, Canada and Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and had the opportunity to further her relationship in person with her collaborator at Harvard Medical School. Her collaborators, who specifically focus on cognition in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, have since been instrumental in providing important advice regarding the protocol she is designing to run the first Australian trial of cognitive remediation in bipolar disorder. Tamsyn believes her attendance at SIRS was critical in obtaining the invaluable advice provided to date.  

In addition, the Club Melbourne Fellowship also supported Tamsyn’s attendance at the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) annual conference held in Sydney during March this year. She received great exposure at this conference too, chairing and presenting as well as organising a Early-Mid Career Researcher (EMCR) event for the first time in the 21-year history of the conference. The event provided an opportunity for EMCR networking across international borders and was a great success, so much so Tamsyn has since been approached to establish an EMCR committee within the International Society to help increase the opportunities available to EMCRs working in the field.

Overall, Tamsyn’s Club Melbourne Fellowship experience was one that she valued greatly; 

“The Club Melbourne Fellowship was of significant assistance in financially supporting my attendance at both the SIRS and ISBD conferences.

 I have no doubt that this Fellowship will confer ongoing benefits, not the least of which being an increased international awareness of my research and an increase in my scientific reputation. This will unquestionably improve my opportunities for high impact research with wide reach. 

I look forward to continued involvement with Club Melbourne in the future,”
Tamsyn concluded. 

Tamsyn van Rheenen presenting SIRS

(L-R: Dr Tamsyn van Rheenen alongside the team of speakers she chaired at ISBD 2019.)