Why did you choose the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for your Honours year?
I wanted to experience doing biomedical research outside the academic environment of uni and to be more exposed to the scientific career world. In addition, doing honours outside uni meant the supervisors would not be burdened with academic teaching and would therefore have more time to spend with students.
The enthusiasm shown by staff and students at the Open Day also made me conclude that the institute would provide a great learning environment and allow me to expand my scientific knowledge.
What do you see as the benefits of doing Honours at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute?
Doing honours at the institute will definitely open many doors for me in terms of my scientific career. It will give me the opportunity to learn in an environment where the people are enthusiastic and enjoy what they are doing.
Most importantly, one of the great benefits is learning from and being mentored by some of the world’s leading scientists.
Have there been any highlights?
The retreat organised by the student association (WESA) was great in that we were able to listen to very inspiring talks from the invited speakers while building friendships with other students.
In addition, having the opportunities to meet world-renowned scientists such as Dr J Craig Venter and Professor Elizabeth Blackburn were great experiences that I will always remember.
What is the subject of your Honours research?
I’m looking at the process of programmed cell death in developing blood vessels, termed angiogenesis. By knowing the mechanism in which cell death occurs in angiogenic vessels, it would be great if this mechanism, which causes vessel regression or pruning, could be activated in neo-angiogenic or growing tumours to suppress their growth.
What does a typical working day involve?
Depending on the experiment that I’m doing, a typical working day mostly involves dissecting mouse retinas to be used for either wholemount staining of the retinal vasculature or for FACS (Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting) analysis.
What did you study at uni?
Bachelor of Biomedical Science, majoring in microbiology and immunology.