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Attracting overseas talent helps Australia battle Covid-19

In 2011 Dr Ranja Salvamoser was in Australia from her native Germany working on a three-month internship in Melbourne as part of an exchange program with Victoria University completing her master’s degree.


Her specialisation was in cell death research, and she was delighted finding that Victoria had excellent research laboratories and facilities that enabled her to continue her research unconstrained. She sensed that this would be the best place for her to pursue her work.


Ongoing studies led to her successfully applying for a scholarship to complete a PhD at Melbourne University and she moved back in 2014.


After completing her PhD, a post-graduate workstream visa offered her the opportunity to remain in Australia. So, in May 2018 she took up a position as a research scientist with biopharmaceutical company Exopharm, where she is now Head of Experimental Biology. This was a windfall for Australia as when the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2019 her expertise in bioengineering of exosomes for therapeutics was to our advantage.


Ranja’s team started work on a project called Fortrexo developing an anti-viral response to COVID-19 which offer a treatment that gives cells the tools needed to prevent the virus for reproducing. This treatment offers immunocompromised patients and those already infected a weapon in the fight against the virus.


“I was more driven last year than ever before to really find an anti-viral and to get it in the clinic,” said Ms Salvamoser in an interview.


“There are so many frontiers on which we have to respond to this pandemic,” said Jaala Pulford, Medical Research Minister. “And having Exopharm and the kind of work that Ranja’s leading will be very important.”


It was an absolute honour for Assent Migration Lawyers to assist Ranja in her migration journey to Australian permanent residence.


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