To celebrate International Women’s Day, we profiled a number of these impressive #WEHIwomen who have produced breakthrough research, driven strategic growth, and helped improve health outcomes.
As a clinician and researcher Jeanne is dedicated to improving outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer. A focus of her research is developing ways to predict how a patient will respond to treatment, and likelihood of disease recurrence after surgery.
There is a lot of big data in science. Using computational techniques Melissa is studying how networks of molecular interactions process biological information. She is seeking to understand the behaviour of cells in normal and cancerous tissues.
As Chief Operating Officer Carolyn led WEHI’s professional services teams through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her ability to drive productive collaborations across the organisation have been critical to WEHI’s continued success.
Onisha is a structural biologist studying the shape and architecture of protein molecules to understand how they become faulty and cause cancer to spread. Onisha is a Superstar of STEM, is passionate about science communication through art, and promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM fields.
Helene began at WEHI as a research scientist, before moving into management and operational roles. Her work has included liaising between our scientists and corporate groups to coordinate delivery of high-quality services and facilities.
Assisting in the development and delivery of WEHI’s vision for the future, Catherine’s experience in strategic planning and public policy facilitated improvements in our governance and administrative processes.
Misty investigates white blood cells, the ‘serial killers’ of the immune system. Her work in science and the community has been recognised here and internationally, she is an advocate for women in STEMM and encourages Aboriginal students into the scientific field.
Rhiannon has been living, breathing and reading science. In 2016, Rhiannon achieved her Honours in the same year as reading 366 scientific papers in 366 days (2016 being a leap year).
Often called the face of WEHI, Rosie uses her extensive knowledge and experience of the organisation to help our staff, students, visitors and supporters every day.
Wai-Hong is deciphering interactions between parasite and human proteins to discover new ways to prevent malarial blood stage infection. As the COVID-19 pandemic emerged Wai-Hong worked with collaborators to identify antibodies that can block coronavirus infection.
Before accounting and leadership positions in corporate business, Jane completed a double degree in biochemistry and physiology. Her path back to research has been deeply personal, providing a complex perspective on the challenges facing science and the people it effects.
While completing her PhD in Jerusalem, Emanuela discovered inspiration on the other side of the world, leading to a potential vaccine.
“Actuated by the desire to do something noble for the country in which her husband had met with a substantial reward for his labor,” in 1912 Eliza founded the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust, which led to the establishment of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Research in Pathology and Medicine.
Rhea was the joint winner of the 2020 Burnet Prize, our top science prize, in recognition of her research into immunity to ‘vivax’ malaria, which has the potential to enhance malaria surveillance and elimination in the Asia-Pacific.
One of the first three staff members of the Institute, Fannie was a bacteriologist in WWI and contributed to ground-breaking work in combating dysentery.
Managing WEHI’s COVID-19 response was no easy task, but Joh ensured the systems and information channels were in place to enable vital research and services to safely continue throughout the pandemic.
Malaria field work in PNG is precisely how Leanne likes to undertake research. Her work has involved collecting blood samples from hundreds of school children, studying the natural immune responses of children in malarial zones.
In the 1970s, Ora’s expertise in DNA sequencing placed her at the forefront of molecular biology. Her most significant discovery showed how a specific gene impacts the spread of cancer.
Lynn has a reputation as a mentor for young scientists and a champion of the next generation of women coming into the laboratory.
A pioneer in scientific mouse breeding, Margaret dedicated 50 years to WEHI, making significant contributions to immunology research, and was central in the successful management of the organisation.
Susan has been a good friend to WEHI over many years, her fundraising efforts have greatly assisted in our work to understand how type 1 diabetes develops and in finding treatments for this life changing disease.
Suzanne is an eminent molecular biologist with a record of significant achievements in immunology and cancer research. In her role as WEHI director, Suzanne embraced new scientific disciplines and changed the face of the organization, securing funding for the $185 million Parkville redevelopment.
Jacqui’s studies into cellular machinery at a molecular level aims to understand both how proteins transport molecules in and out of cells and how this function is regulated.
Over two decades, Margaret managed our operational requirements, from official visits from the Duke of Edinburgh and Margaret Thatcher to approval for our first PC3 containment lab.
Working in a culture of collaboration and cooperation, Melissa’s interest in understanding the activation of immune cells has led to exploring cell communication pathways for cancer, infection and immune disorder treatment opportunities.
As a medical researcher, Tracy clearly sees “we donate our lives and our brains to what we do, and hopefully by the time we get to the end of our careers we’ve discovered something exciting … something that patients are receiving, that is improving their lives”.
Anne is and always has been obsessed with T cells, her expertise contributed to the cloning of the first recombinant CSF. Today, her role as CEO of the NHMRC means she oversees the national government research funded programs.
Hailed a martyr to science, Dora’s contributions to scientific outcomes include journal articles on influenza, myxomatosis and the herpes simplex virus, as well as significant insights into scrub typhus, the disease that ultimately killed her.
Working with animals in research is not easy, but it’s incredibly valuable. Gill managed the animal facilities in Kew and always put the welfare of the animal first.
Heather’s academic and professional success gained her a public profile, including her collaboration with UK scientists to pioneer the use of electron microscopy to study influenza.
Working closely with clinician researchers to examine genetic disorders, Melanie develops new methods to analyse complex data, producing software that is freely available to others and thereby aiding many research fields.
Johanna’s fascination with gut health and development took her from research work at WEHI into a post-lab curatorial career with Museums Victoria.
Alum Samantha helped our breast cancer research team in their search for new treatments. When she’s not in the lab, she’s hitting the waves with her love of competition surfing!