Miles Horton

Miles Horton

Student with supervisor in the lab
Honours student Miles Horton (R) with his supervisor
Dr Susanne Heinzel

Why did you choose the Institute for your Honours year?

I first learnt about the Institute at undergraduate lectures that highlighted the contributions of former Institute director and Nobel Laureate Sir Frank MacFarlane Burnet to the field of immunology and to the development of Australian science. I quickly became aware of the Institute’s reputation for producing fascinating research. 

I applied for Honours here not only to take part in research, but also because it made me feel connected to the Institute’s history and some of the great discoveries made here in the past.

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

The opportunity to learn from a wide array of talented scientists at the Institute and to ask questions about their research has been a highlight of my Honours year. They have a wealth of knowledge in their areas of expertise, as well as a remarkable willingness to take the time to share that knowledge with students.

I’ve also relished the opportunity to learn how to design experiments and interpret data. This is a fundamental aspect of science that, prior to Honours, I had not had much experience in.

What is the subject of your Honours research?

My project examines how cells of the immune system acquire the functions required to effectively fight disease. Furthering our understanding of this complex process may contribute to treatments that harness the immune system to treat diseases such as cancer and autoimmunity.

What does a typical working day involve?

On a typical day you’ll find me in the lab setting up experiments. This involves preparing cells to grow in culture and analysing their behaviour over subsequent days using flow cytometry.

What did you do before starting Honours? 

Prior to Honours I studied a Bachelor of Biomedicine with a major in immunology at the University of Melbourne.