The prestigious prize is named in recognition of E.O.P. (Ted) Thompson’s contributions to the field of protein structure and function.
Ms Pijning, PhD candidate at the ACRF Centenary Cancer Research Centre, was awarded the prize for her talk titled, ‘The discovery and characterisation of novel covalent forms of αIIbβ3 integrin’.
The talk was based on a recent discovery that found that certain blood proteins exist and function as several forms that differ from each other just by the presence or absence of disulfide (chemical) bonds.
The discovery has implications for the fundamental understanding of protein biology but also impacts how these proteins could be targeted with drugs, for instance in the prevention of thrombosis.
“It was great to have the opportunity to present my work to a scientific audience with such expertise. The calibre of the science presented was very high, and I did not expect to walk away with the prize,” said Ms Pijning. “This validation of my work makes me feel extremely motivated to see what else can be discovered.”