Kate McArthur

Kate McArthur

PhD student Kate McArthur at incubator
PhD student Kate McArthur

Why did you choose the institute for your PhD?

It took me a few years to decide to do a PhD. I didn’t want to rush into a project or an institute that wasn’t the right fit for me. I had been lucky enough to have already worked and studied here, and it’s a great place to be. Put that alongside a great project opportunity with scientists I trusted and respected, and the choice was pretty easy in the end.

What do you see as the benefits of doing a PhD at the institute?

There are many reasons to study here, including the institute’s international reputation, and the opportunity to work with brilliant scientists in top-class facilities. Most importantly for me is that it is such a supportive and collaborative environment. There are always people who are happy to share their knowledge and resources, or give you advice and help; which can be scientific or technical in nature, or more general advice like career advice or personal support.

What is the subject of your PhD research?

I am studying proteins that regulate cell death and inflammation. I’ll be looking at what happens when we inhibit these proteins, and what insights that may give us into their functions. This could have implications in whole range of diseases, including cancer, immune disorders or neurodegenerative diseases.

What does a typical working day involve?

I deliberately chose a multidisciplinary project that would use a range of techniques, so it really depends on which day you ask. This week alone, I have done a lot of cloning and cell culture, flow cytometry, western blots, ELISAs, and confocal imaging.

What did you do before starting your PhD?

I studied a double degree at The University of Melbourne: Science and Commerce, majoring in biochemistry, pharmacology, and marketing. All my previous research experience has been at the institute. I started as a UROP student and then completed honours in the Inflammation division. After honours I worked as a research assistant in the imaging facility and in the ACRF Chemical Biology division.