University of Newcastle PhD student Hock Tay will fly the flag for NSW when he competes in a national student research event next week.

Mr Tay is researching immune responses to bacterial infections and will present his research at final of the GSK Student Excellence Awards being held at the AusBiotech national conference 30 October.

“My research aims to understand how the immune system works in clearing bacterial infections,” Hock Tay said.

“We have identified a small molecule that could be important in helping the body eliminate bacteria. We hope that with more work we can develop an antimicrobial therapy that could treat patients infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria and treat lung conditions such as pneumonia,” he said.

AusBiotech and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) hold the annual Excellence competition to encourage more students to pursue research and consider a career in bio-sciences.

The six state winners from across Australia will attend the AusBiotech 2012 conference in Melbourne from 30 October – 2 November, where they will present their research and compete for the national title.

The winner will receive a $7,000 travel grant to present their research at an international conference.

More information on the awards is here.

Read about research at the University of Newcastle.

Mr Tay conducts his research under the supervision of one of the world’s leading asthma researchers, the University of Newcastle’s Laureate Professor Paul Foster.

Professor Foster is the Director of the Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Disease; the Virus, Infection/Immunity, Vaccines and Asthma Program, Hunter Medical Research Institute; and the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Asthma and Airways (Newcastle node).