PhD student Ms Casey Ah-Cann has found her passion in unravelling the embryonic development of lungs.

Casey’s research, supervised by Associate Professor Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat and Professor Marnie Blewitt, is searching for genes that are crucial for the earliest stages of lung development.

“I am interested in understanding how genetic abnormalities impact the developing lung,” said Casey.

“Many of the genes that are critical for embryonic development can become drivers of disease in later life.”

“By understanding normal development of the lung, we can get a greater understanding of how diseases such as lung cancer arise.”

“It is thrilling to know that through my research I may discover something that no one else in the world knows – and by sharing this I can help science take a small step forward.”

Surrounded by excellence

This wasn’t Casey’s first foray into developmental research: before her PhD she was a research assistant at the Institute investigating embryonic blood development.

After working at the Institute for two years I knew that it was the best place to do my PhD,” Casey said.

“The excellent facilities and world-class laboratories were a big drawcard; but also the collaborative spirit and strong culture, and Institute’s international standing assured me that I would be at the best possible place to succeed in science.

“One of the greatest things about my PhD has been the people I have worked with. They are so generous and intelligent, and have become some of my closest friends.”

Casey Ah-Cann’s PhD studies are supported by a scholarship jointly funded by Lung Foundation Australia and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

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