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Research profile: Raquel Raizel

Raquel Raizel: Nutrition PhD student, School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute.

I started my PhD in 2013 at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, under the supervision of Professor Julio Tirapegui and in collaboration with Dr Vinicius Fernandes Cruzat.

In 2014, Dr Cruzat introduced me to Professor Philip Newsholme, Head of School, School of Biomedical Sciences, and to the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI). Dr Cruzat suggested I apply for a ‘Sandwich Scholarship’, an international program in Brazil that would enable me to continue my PhD research in Australia under the supervision of Professor Newsholme.

I took this scholarship opportunity because Professor Newsholme is known for his great knowledge and experience in metabolic disease and nutrition research.

Raquel Raizel is a Nutrition PhD student.
Raquel Raizel is a Nutrition PhD student.

I am now working at Curtin under Professor Newsholme’s supervision, which could considerably improve my career. Becoming a researcher at Curtin allows me to learn how an integrative and innovative university works.

My research investigates the effects of amino acids on insulin signalling and protein synthesis, which could help to improve the treatment of diabetes, as well as prevent health problems in later life.

The research environment at CHIRI is a technology-rich and creative one, where researchers are encouraged to ‘think outside the box’ by collaborating with other students and exploring novel ideas. Curtin has introduced me to ideas, concepts, places and people I otherwise probably would not have encountered.

Raquel Raizel.
Raquel Raizel.

Since studying at Curtin, I’ve attended the Australian Society for Medical Research conference, where I presented part of my PhD research results.

I have also been encouraged to apply for further research opportunities with CHIRI, and have been asked to contribute to the work being developed in the lab of Professor Angelo Carpinelli in Brazil.

One thing I enjoy about Curtin is the multicultural environment. I think it inspires people to learn and respect the particularity of each culture; I feel amazed for having the opportunity to have friends from more than 15 countries around the world.

When I go back to Brazil, my research will contribute to the country’s development of science by introducing new technology and innovation.