John A McKenzie / Selby Scientific Foundation Awards 2022

  • The Foundation established an additional award in 2005 at the University of Melbourne to be presented at the faculty of Science annual Dean’s Awards function. Named the John A McKenzie / Selby Scientific Foundation Award it provides continuing recognition of Professor McKenzie’s seven years of distinguished service as Dean of the Faculty.

    Awarded to a student who has completed the requirements for the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Biomedicine, and is pursuing one of the following: a research training program in the Master of Science, the Postgraduate Diploma in Science or the final year of the degree of Bachelor of Science with honours or Bachelor of Biomedicine with honours, in the Department of Genetics.

    The Foundation congratulates this year's award winner:

    img University of Melbourne
  • Patrick Gibbs

    Master of Science (BioScience)
    University of Melbourne
    Awarded on 30/12/2022

    I am completing a research project using machine learning to predict organisms physical traits using their DNA sequence.


    Particularly, I am interested in applying optimisations to improve the accuracy of current prediction algorithms. In my project this involves trying to minimise the effect of DNA sequencing error and understanding how the organisation of individuals into populations impacts predictions.

    My research has broad applications, including medicine and agriculture; hopefully it will allow farmers to predict yield, or medical professionals to assess predisposition to disease using DNA sequence data.

    “Receiving the John A McKenzie/Selby Scientific Foundation Award provides recognition of the effort I have put into my studies so far, and provides motivation to continue to pursue my goal of becoming a research scientist. In primary and secondary school, I struggled academically with dyslexia however persisted to follow my interest in science. Recognition by this award shows me the power of hard work and determination in achieving one's goals.”

    Moving forward, I hope to develop the emerging field of computational biology throughout my career. As I am now living out of home the award provides needed financial support, allowing me to work less hours in my part time job to focus on my studies.

    The John A McKenzie/Selby Scientific Foundation Award is greatly appreciated and will have a defining impact on my career.


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    img Patrick Gibbs