Top hon­ours for re­search

Southern Telegraph - - News - Narelle Butcher

Out­stand­ing re­search about the man­age­ment of Parkin­son’s dis­ease has earned Bal­divis stu­dent Hay­ley Grant two ma­jor aca­demic prizes.

Miss Grant, 21, who was dux of Curtin Univer­sity’s Psy­chol­ogy stud­ies when she grad­u­ated in Fe­bru­ary, has been recog­nised with an Aus­tralian Psy­cho­log­i­cal So­ci­ety award.

The prize in­cludes a trip to Syd­ney, where she will share her Hon­ours re­search find­ings with other re­cip­i­ents at the APS Congress in Septem­ber.

The for­mer Comet Bay Col­lege stu­dent rounded out her final psy­chol­ogy year by pick­ing up the Best Hon­ours Grad­u­ate PhD Stipend schol­ar­ship.

It will pro­vide Miss Grant with $27,500 each year to com­plete her three-year PhD.

“I re­ally en­joyed my final year, work­ing with peo­ple with Parkin­son’s — it kept me re­ally mo­ti­vated in my stud­ies,” she said.

“I’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in neu­ropsy­chol­ogy and get­ting into that project in my last year con­sol­i­dated that it was the path­way I re­ally wanted to take.” Miss Grant said her re­search path­way of­fered an in­sight into the strug­gles of a close fam­ily mem­ber.

“My grand­dad had lewy body de­men­tia, which is a neu­ro­log­i­cal ill­ness which has slight over­laps with Parkin­son’s,” she said. “He passed away last year. “It was rel­e­vant to hear the things that were hap­pen­ing to him.”

Miss Grant said her re­search was guided by a team of ex­pe­ri­enced men­tors from the Park C team at Curtin Univer­sity.

She said she had met some won­der­ful par­tic­i­pants liv­ing with Parkin­son’s.

“It was amaz­ing to see just how dif­fer­ent peo­ple can be be­cause ev­ery­one who has it is re­ally dif­fer­ent, and you just can’t pre­dict the way a per­son’s Parkin­son’s will progress,” she said.

Miss Grant’s up­com­ing re­search will fo­cus on links be­tween Parkin­son’s dis­ease and gut bac­te­ria.

You just can’t pre­dict the way a per­son’s Parkin­son’s will progress. Hay­ley Grant

Bal­divis stu­dent Hay­ley Grant com­pleted her Bach­e­lor of Psy­chol­ogy with First Class Hon­ours.

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