Dr Leon Wescombe made the most of every moment, whether that be through his love for adventure and travel or his passion for medical research. He was from Devonport, a former student of the Don College and an alumnus of the University of Tasmania achieving first class Honours in microbiology and biochemistry in 2005. Leon’s Honours research into the production of the toxin cyanide by bacteria that live in the lung of people affected by cystic fibrosis represented the first description of cyanide production in the human lung disease setting and was published in the prestigious European Respiratory Journal. After completing his Honours, the natural progression for Leon was to undertake a PhD, which he did at the University of Sydney where he investigated thyroid glands and Graves’ disease. His research into these diseases lead to the discovery of a particular protein in both the thyroid gland and eye which was published in Clinical Endocrinology and Orbit. In recognition of this work, Leon was awarded a Best Emerging Researcher award in 2007. Sadly Leon lost his life in 2010, at the age of 29, while kayaking on the Consumnes River in California. To recognise the value of his work, the University of Sydney posthumously awarded him a PhD for his doctoral research on gene expression in Graves’ disease. To honour Leon and his considerable talents, Dr Wescombe’s family and friends established the Dr Leon Wescombe Memorial Fund with the University of Tasmania Foundation to raise donations to provide a scholarship in cystic fibrosis research at the University of Tasmania.
Available to a student commencing an honours research program at the University of Tasmania in Semester 1, 2021 in the area of Cystic Fibrosis.
To retain this award, recipients are required to achieve a minimum Pass result in all units studied each semester.
The scholarship will be awarded to the value of $5,000 if the recipient is from the Greater Hobart or Southern geographical regions of Tasmania as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics or $10,000 if the recipient is from other regions within Tasmania.
31 January 2021
Students wishing to apply for this scholarship should apply for a 'Medicine Honours Scholarship'.