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Concord surgical fellow awarded prestigious Fulbright Future Scholarship

Dr Sireesha Koneru will travel to the United States to further her colorectal research.   

A woman standing in a dress and blazer is smiling.
SydneyConnect Image: Dr Sireesha Koneru has been awarded a Fulbright Future Scholarship.

Distinguished Concord Hospital surgical fellow Sireesha Koneru has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Future Scholarship to advance her colorectal research in the United States.   

Dr Koneru is a colorectal research fellow at the University of Sydney Concord Clinical School's Faculty of Medicine and Health, the Concord Colorectal Unit and the Concord Institute of Academic Surgery.   

She is among 44 Australian researchers to receive a 2024 scholarship in the highly regarded American exchange program.   

Dr Koneru will travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in August to continue researching functional outcomes in colorectal cancer treatment.    

Her achievement is a testament to the outstanding work of Concord Hospital staff and the District’s commitment to research and innovation.  

Concord Institute co-chair Associate Professor Sarah Aitken said Dr Koneru's scholarship was a great accomplishment.   

"This is an amazing achievement for a very skilled academic surgeon, and she is a fantastic role model for our young women pursuing surgical careers," Associate Professor Aitken said.   

Dr Koneru said she counted herself lucky to have been awarded the scholarship.   

"It's an incredible opportunity," she said.    

"I'm very excited for the work that I'll do as part of this scholarship and for future collaborative opportunities for research, which is an integral part of the Fulbright program."   

Dr Koneru said her research supervisors – including Concord's Dr Kheng-Seong Ng and Associate Professor Anil Keshava – had instilled in her the importance of collaboration.   

"Building collaborative research pathways, allows us to improve what we do," she said.   

"And it's a way to develop clinically meaningful research with the goal to improve patient care."   

Dr Koneru said she was bracing herself for a freezing Minnesota winter but was sure she would gain valuable lessons from her work at the Mayo Clinic.   

"It’s an opportunity to see how things are done differently, what’s done better and what I can offer, as well," she said.   

"I look forward to further developing my clinical and research abilities, which I can bring back to my future unit as a colorectal surgeon."