Dr Sarah Lockie off to pursue Nobel cause

Dr Sarah Lockie is off to a week-long Lindau Nobel Laureates conference.

Dr Sarah Lockie is off to a week-long Lindau Nobel Laureates conference.

FIFTEEN years ago, she was part of the Tallangatta Secondary College year 12 class of 1999.

Come Sunday and Sarah Lockie will be in Germany rubbing shoulders with 37 Nobel Laureates.

Dr Lockie is one of 15 young Australian researchers heading to the Lindau Nobel Laureates week-long meeting on physiology and medicine.

More than 600 young scientists from almost 80 countries will attend.

“It will be really exciting,” Dr Lockie said.

The experience came about after the Australian Academy of Science chose her as part of a short list of 20, reduced to 16 by the Lindau committee.

The event will allow the young scientists to share their knowledge, establish new contacts and discuss relevant topics such as global health, the latest findings in cancer or AIDS research and the challenges in immunology.

Dr Lockie said she hoped to gain some role models and talk about ways science could be exciting and interesting, while broadening her own experience.

“I’ve met a couple of Nobel Laureates before and it’s clear the kind of science that wins Nobel prizes is the same as every kind of science,” she said.

“It’s about being good at it and making sure your process is correct to lead you to the right conclusion.”

Dr Lockie’s work focuses on how the brain senses metabolic need — or a lack of nutrients during fasting and dieting — and then translates this to adaptions that work to regain normal energy balance, such as a body temperature drops to conserve energy.

“I hope that by better understanding the neurocircuitry, we can eventually offer a basis for strategic design of drugs for diseases such as obesity and anorexia/cachexia syndrome.”