Grant from Golden Key unlocks opportunity

Paul Habashy

A Western Sydney University medical student has been awarded a prestigious scholarship from the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Paul Habashy, a fourth-year Bachelor of Medicine/ Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) student at Western, was recently awarded a $2,000 research grant from Golden Key.

Paul is conducting research at Liverpool Hospital on colorectal cancer, as part of an embedded Honours component of his degree. The grant will give Paul an opportunity to present his research at professional conferences or student research symposia.

Paul’s research, ‘Frequency of KRAS mutations in colorectal cancer in an ethnically diverse patient cohort,’ is supervised by Professor Soon Lee from the University’s School of Medicine.

Paul said he feels honoured to be undertaking the important research, which will lead to a greater understanding of potential links between colorectal cancer and patients’ ethnic background.

“Current research indicates that the KRAS mutations may be present in about 35-45 per cent of patients with bowel cancer. Selected patients are tested for this mutation, as it has significant impacts on the treatment options that are open to them,” said Paul.

“For my research, I first have to analyse the data within the medical records of more than 400 patients at Liverpool Hospital.

“Being such a culturally diverse region, this data-set provides an opportunity to determine if there is any correlation between the presence of the KRAS mutation and a person’s ethnic background.”

The Golden Key International Honour Society is the world’s largest collegiate honour society. Western Sydney University reconvened its membership with Golden Key in 2019 and has the largest chapter of students in the Asia Pacific who have achieved academic excellence.


29 June 2020

Danielle Roddick, Senior Media Officer