Medical research scientist
Laura’s dad was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was 16, inspiring her to become a medical researcher. Now working at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, she wants to improve the diagnosis of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) – a disease that has died out in the general population, but is highly prevalent in Australian Indigenous communities. Left untreated, this complication of strep throat infection can cause life-threatening damage to heart valves. Laura and her team have identified a protein signature of the disease and are hoping to develop a simple pin-prick test to diagnose ARF in remote settings.