Favourite Thing: Coming into work, not knowing what’s in store.
St Kilda Primary School, Elwood College (Years 8-10), Norwood Secondary College (Years 11-12)
Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences at University of Melbourne (2002-2004), Bachelor of Sciences (Honours) at University of Melbourne (2005)
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Peter Mac Cancer Centre, St Vincents Hospital, Monash Institure of Medical Research, Monash University
PhD candidate, looking at understanding how the eye protects itself to find ways of stopping/curing blindness
Me and my work
I’m looking at how immune cells (white blood cells) in your eye work in protecting against inflammation and infections from nasty bugs
The cornea is the clear part of your eye, right above your iris (the part that gives your eye colour). Being at the very front of your eye, this part is responsible for 3/4 of your eyes focusing power! If infected or inflamed (things go wrong), the cornea goes cloudy. This is bad (!), and if left untreated could mean losing vision!
Until recently, people thought that the cornea had no cells. It is a very small tough and compact piece of tissue. But white blood cells have been found within the cornea, and these cells help fight any bacteria or nasty things that might infect your eye (after an injury, like a scratch). I’m looking at how these cells talk to each other , and how they interact with nerves that sense an injury . Both of these help these immune cells “police” your cornea!
My Typical Day
I come to work knowing the pictures I take of immune cells in whole tissues show things that no one else has ever noticed before!
I’m currently half way through my studies to achieve a PhD in Medicine. I organise my schedule and experiments every day. So a typical day would mean coming in and planning experiments, trying to multitask to get as much done as possible. Most of my time is either in front of a microscope taking pictures, or in from of a computer analysing the results.
All the hard work is in line with the hope that my results, my contribution, and collaborations with other scientists will push our understanding of the eye towards curing blindness .
What I'd do with the money
I’d use it to fund travelling to an international conference to collaborate and exchange knowledge between top scientists in my field
Knowledge is key when it comes to science. You need to collaborate and speak to others, some more experienced and smarter than you. A very good way of doing this is at an international conference. There’s a big one coming up early next year, and it’d mean a lot if I was able to attend.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Funny, random and friendly
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I went and had a fish pedicure (where fish nibble on dead skin of your feet)
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Money would be first! Then, good health. I’d keep the last one up my sleeve just in case…
What did you want to be after you left school?
Doctor or lawyer
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
Once. No twice actually! But they were misunderstandings (and I’m sticking to that story!!)
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Found something that no-one had ever noticed :D
Tell us a joke.
A guy shows up late for work. The boss yells, “You should’ve been here at 8:30!” The guy replies, “Why? What happened at 8:30?”
Football (Soccer) is the main one
Chelsea (English premier league) and Bayern Munich (German)