As with many people growing up, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do for a career. As much as my love for music grew, I knew that this was a difficult industry to crack, even going down the path of a mix engineer, which I almost did, as some of my university applications were for such courses.

During high school, science was always one of my favorite subjects. I loved the way it explained how everything in the world around us works. As a kid, I was always taking things apart to see what made them tick, and then see if I could put it back together and have them work again. But I have never been good at exams and always fluctuated between the top and bottom science classes.

It was in my last two years of school, where I had the best teacher for chemistry, Rob Laird, that I started to think that perhaps this is what I wanted to do for work. It was Robs enthusiasm for all of the incredible areas of chemistry, as off-topic to the curriculum they were, that inspired me to peruse a university science degree. Thank you Rob for the work you did, you made those classes worth looking forward to.

So I applied to a few science university courses and got accepted into a Bachelor of Science in Applied Chemistry at the University of Technology, Sydney. Despite always struggling with getting marks in exams, in my last year I did a research elective which I enjoyed enough to continue and get First Class Honours. Finally finding my stride in research, I continued with a post-grad course and graduated with a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Technology, Sydney in 2017. If you would like to know more about my PhD research, there is a link to my thesis below.

It then took a while to get a couple of job interviews in Sydney, but eventually, after initially missing out, I landed a job in the ProCan lab at the Children’s Medical Research Institute. I love this job! It is exactly what I want to be doing at this point in my life and I have a fantastic team and bosses. I feel so grateful to be a part of this initiative.

To put very simply, the goal of our work is to collect a whole lot of biological data about the proteins (proteomics) involved in cancer, using Mass Spectrometry, and from this, develop a better way to diagnose and treat the disease. It is a mammoth effort, involving collaborators from all over the world. If this is something you would like to support or get involved, see the ProCan website. Stay tunes to see how it goes…

List of Publications and Presentations

Strategies to enable large-scale proteomics for reproducible research
Nature Communications volume 11, Article number: 3793 (2020)
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-17641-3

A fast and universal sample preparation proteomic workflow for cancer biopsies sourced from different embedding methods
HUPO 17 Sep, 2019 &
Westmead Research Focus 2019

High-throughput proteomic analysis of FFPE tissue using PCT-SWATH MS
10 Feb, 2019
Lorne Proteomics 2019

Alkaloid-like molecules as AChE inhibitors and anticancer agents for therapeutic relief of alzheimer’s disease and cancer
PhD Thesis 2017

Synthesis and Crystal Structure of Unexpected (1S,4R,5R,6S)-4-Cyano-2,2,6-trimethyl-3-azabicyclo[3.3.1]nonan-6-yl Acetate
Australian Journal of Chemistry 70(12) 1269-1273
DOI: 10.1071/CH17270.

An alkaloid-like 3-azabicyclo[3.3.1]non-3-ene library obtained from the bridged Ritter reaction
Tetrahedron Volume 73, Issue 2, 12 January 2017, Pages 116-128
DOI: 10.1016/j.tet.2016.11.057.

Synthesis of alkaloid-like compounds via the bridging Ritter reactions II
RACI Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology Meeting

Synthesis of alkaloid-like compounds via the bridging Ritter reactions II
Monatshefte für Chemie – Chemical Monthly volume 147, pages1737–1746(2016)
DOI: 10.1007/s00706-016-1817-4.

Alkaloid-like molecules as AChE inhibitors
Add more information about what you did here. RACI Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology NSW Symposium.

Formation of 3-azabicyclo[3.3.1]non-3-enes: imino amides vs. imino alkenes
Monatshefte für Chemie – Chemical Monthly volume 145, pages983–992(2014)
DOI: 10.1007/s00706-014-1185-x.

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