Memory lives on through support for young scientists

01 June 2021
Key Researchers

As a child, Michael Harris loved going into WEHI to see his father, Dr Alan Harris, at work.

Michael was intrigued by the equipment in the labs and enjoyed meeting the other scientists who worked with his father.

Dr Alan Harris, a cell biologist, died in 2006 and is remembered not only as a ground-breaking scientist but also as a respected and valued mentor to young scientists.

Family values

Michael still goes into WEHI, now as a donor. He and his wife Kelli Garrison are helping to support a new generation of students with the Alan W Harris Scholarship.

Their two sons also come into WEHI, meeting up with some of the same scientists Michael met as a child.

The Alan W Harris Scholarship, which provides a $5000 allowance to Honours and Masters students, was initially established by WEHI in honour of Michael’s father.

Michael and Kelli, who decided independently to give to medical research, thought it made sense to join forces with WEHI to boost the scholarship.

“Kelli and I were both students in our respective fields and we understand the challenges and financial struggles of pursuing higher studies,” Michael said.

Michael Harris
Michael Harris (pictured) and his wife Kelli fund a student scholarship at WEHI.
“Being able to support students to pursue their study goals is very gratifying.”
Michael Harris

Supporting medical research aligned with the couple’s values and the idea of helping people across the globe.

“The evidence-based approach is really important. Anyone who supports a cause wants to know the outcome is effective, real and has a lasting impact.”
Michael Harris

Student success

Alan W Harris scholarship recipient Kathleen Zeglinski said the scholarship helped take the financial pressure off so she could focus on her research.

Kathleen’s work, which uses sequencing techniques to improve the discovery of antibody-based drugs, including a potential COVID-19 treatment, won her the Colman-Speed Medal as WEHI’s top Honours student in 2020.

“Honours is a really demanding year under normal circumstances and the pandemic made it even more difficult. There were so many challenges associated with working from home but the support from the scholarship really enabled me to do my best.”
Kathleen Zeglinski

To donate to WEHI

visit www.wehi.edu.au/donate or phone 03 9345 2403

WEHI Authors
Support us

Together we can create a brighter future

Your support will help WEHI’s researchers make discoveries and find treatments to ensure healthier, longer lives for you and your loved ones.

Sign up to our quarterly newsletter Illuminate

Find out about recent discoveries, community supporters and more.

Illuminate Autumn 2024
View the current issue