Australian Researchers’ Mobility Portal

Friday 1st February 2008

Monash University is a very long way from his home town of Gdansk but this endocrinologist from Poland and Group of Eight Fellow says he feels a strong connection to Australia because its people are so open and friendly.

Dr Dominik Rachon arrived in Melbourne in late 2007 as one of four inaugural Go8 European Fellows who will spend up to six months working in a Go8 university. At the time he did not know anyone in Australia but in matters both professional and personal, he says he couldn’t be happier. Within weeks of his arrival he was invited to spend Christmas with the family of a new colleague and to submit a review concerning postmenopausal hormone therapy for publication with his supervisor.

Dr Rachon says he particularly appreciates the opportunity to work with one of Australia’s leading researchers in women’s health, Professor Helena Teede at the Monash Institute of Health Services Research, with whom he will jointly publish an article before he returns to Poland.

The Go8 European Fellowships recognise the importance of international contacts for early career researchers and aim to help establish those contacts in Australia for talented young researchers from emerging European economies.

It may be the women of Australia who will benefit most from Dr Rachon’s research given his particular interest and publication record on topics such as the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). His article, soon to be published in Climacteric - The Journal of the International Menopause Society, is based on data revealing that while oral HRT medication seems to increase the risk of blood clots, other methods such as patches which release oestrogen through the skin into the blood stream, when tailored to the needs of individual women, do not necessarily increase this risk.

The Go8 European Fellowships provide travel costs and a living allowance for up to six months and are currently open to eligible researchers from Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.

The Go8 will expand the number of Fellowships and eligible target countries from 2009. The next call for applications will be made later this year.