Dyson Bequest: advocating for women in research

Dyson Bequest: advocating for women in research

Illuminate newsletter index page, March 2020
March 2020

Dr Gemma Kelly
Dr Gemma Kelly is the recipient of a Dyson Fellowship
to support her cancer research.

The Dyson Bequest has been supporting and promoting women in science over the past decade.

Dyson Bequest Trustees John Dyson and Rose Gilder have been advocating for women in research and have recognised the importance of supporting female scientists during the challenging early phase of their career.

“The fellowship supports early-career female medical researchers and provides a $500,000 commitment over five years,” Mr Dyson said.

“The fellowship funds are untied and allow the researcher certainty and flexibility to undertake their research in areas that typically would not receive government support.”

Dr Gemma Kelly was recently announced as the recipient of a Dyson Fellowship, beginning in 2020. Dr Kelly is using cutting-edge molecular and cellular biology techniques to identify vulnerabilities in blood cancers, such as leukaemia and lymphoma, that could be exploited for cancer therapy.

Supporting and promoting women in science

(L-R) Rose Dyson, Tracy Putoczki and John Dyson.
(L-R) Rose Dyson, Tracy Putoczki and John Dyson.

Dr Kelly will be the third laboratory head supported by the Dyson Fellowship, following Dr Tracy Putoczki in 2015 and Professor Marnie Blewitt in 2010.

It is thanks to the generosity of the Dyson Bequest that both Dr Putoczki and Associate Professor Blewitt have been able to advance their research and secure prestigious Viertel Fellowships.


Professor Blewitt received a Viertel Fellowship in 2017 and Dr Putoczki received the Viertel Fellowship in 2019, providing funding of $1.25 million over five years.

The fellowship is awarded by the Sylvia & Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation, managed by Equity Trustees.

“Ensuring that we retain our best and brightest researchers is essential and this is doubly so for female researchers who historically have faced many more challenges in attracting research dollars early in their careers,” Mr Dyson said.

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