Nicholas Chandler

Nicholas Chandler

Student and researchers in the lab
Honours student Nicholas Chandler with his supervisors
Dr Melissa Call (centre) and Dr Matthew Call (right)

Why did you choose the Institute for your Honours year?

The institute is a leader in medical research and as an undergraduate I was aware of the major scientific discoveries made at the Institute both historically as well as those frequently reported in the media  
I was also drawn by the Institute’s emphasis on equality and collaboration in the workplace, and I felt it would be the best place for me to first experience life in the lab.

What do you see as the benefits of doing Honours at the Institute?

The institute provides a challenging environment for its Honours students. I’ve already been pushed to work harder and achieve more than I thought I could! 
The opportunity to attend daily seminars presented by leaders in their fields from within the Institute and beyond has been a really unexpected benefit, and has definitely helped broaden my scientific knowledge. One highlight for me was getting thrown in the deep end in my first week and attending the Lorne Protein Conference. This allowed me to hear how passionate everyone in the field is about their work and gave me a great sense of what I can look forward to in a career in science.

What is the subject of your Honours research?

I’m studying the receptors used by immune T cells to recognise and respond to abnormal cells. Using structural biology I am investigating how T cell receptors trigger signalling within T cells.

What does a typical working day involve?

It’s rare to have a quiet day in your Honours year, between experiments in the lab, seminars and, most importantly, social events organised by our student association. There’s definitely no chance of being bored!

What did you do before starting Honours? 

I studied a Bachelor of Science at The University of Melbourne majoring in biochemistry. Before starting Honours I took a year off to work and travel in Canada.