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Vicki has had a keen interest in prion diseases since 2000, when she got her first job as a research assistant (RA) for the ANCJDR. As an RA Vicki ran various diagnostic tests and collaborative research projects, and it was during this time that she decided to undertake a PhD in prion research. Under the supervision of Steve Collins, Vicki Lawson and Andrew Hill, Vicki’s PhD focused on understanding the nature of infectious prion species and prion disease susceptibility. Since completing her PhD, Vicki has continued her prion research, overseas and in Australia, with interests in prion protein proteolytic cleavage, and the relevance of these events to normal prion protein function and prion diseases, presenting her research findings at various national and international conferences. Vicki has been the recipient of an NHMRC Fellowship and University of Melbourne Early Career Researcher Grant, and has been fortunate enough to receive several CJDSGN Memorial Awards/Grants. Vicki is currently a part-time Research Fellow in the Department of Medicine, (RMH) at the University of Melbourne, and has also returned to where it all started, working part-time for the ANCJDR, again involved in aspects of diagnostic testing and collaborative research. Over the couple of decades Vicki has made significant contributions to prion research, in particular to the areas of prion disease epidemiology and diagnostics, prion strain pathogenesis and prion protein proteolysis.

Vicki has been supported by the following CJDSGN awards:

In 2015 Vicki received a $20,000 ‘CJDSGN Memorial Grant in memory of Ross Glasscock, Robert Craig, Carmelo Tripoli, Arthur Schinck and Arlene Hamilton and a travel award in memory of Silva Coehlo.

In 2016 Vicki received a  $25,000 CJDSGN Grant  ‘CJDSGN Memorial Grant in memory of: Sandra Kernahan, Stephen (Jake) O’Hara, Catherine Heagerty, Grasso family, Victoria Larielle, Barbara Childerhouse, Marilyn Hart and Pamela Thomas (City2Sea)’.

In 2018 Vicki was awarded a $50,000 ‘CJDSGN Memorial Grant (City2Sea 2016 2017) in memory of Stephen (Jake) O’Hara (Team Jake) Jennifer Duckworth (Team Jenny) and others lost to CJD’

In 2018 Vicki was also awarded a $42,000 ‘CJDSGN Memorial Award in Memory of Michael Luscombe’

In 2019 Vicki was awarded a $55,000 ‘CJDSGN Memorial Grant in Memory of Frank Burton’