8 November 2017:
The world’s smallest fibre-optic probe that can simultaneously see and sense deeply inside the body (Dr Jiawen Li) and an anti-cancer drug that can be switched ‘on’ and ‘off’ inside the body to help reduce chemotherapy side effects (PhD student Kathryn Palasis). These were the research narratives developed by the two CNBP scientists who attended the ‘Fresh Science’ outreach training program on the 7th-8th November in Adelaide, South Australia.
“I had a great time participating in Fresh Science,” said Kathryn Palasis.
“We had a full day of media training which included practise interviews with journalists from TV, radio and print, who taught us how to best explain our science to the general public. We then had the opportunity to present our work to some very eager and inquisitive school students, and later had to summarise our research to a crowd at the pub in the time it took for a sparkler to burn out! It was a great learning experience and a lot of fun – plus I got to meet some really cool local researchers who are all doing exciting work.”
Dr Jiawen Li also enjoyed the experience. “What I got from the program was the ability to promote my science to the media, knowledge on how to be noticed by journalists and the experience of being interviewed, as well as broader presentation skills aimed at communicating complicated science concepts to a general audience. The two days were extremely rewarding!”
Fresh Science (run by Science in Public) is a national competition helping early-career researchers find, and then share, their stories of discovery. The program takes up-and-coming researchers with no media experience and turns them into spokespeople for science, with a day of media training and a public outreach event in their home state.
Below – Fresh Science participants. Kathryn Palasis fourth from left. Dr Jiawen Li fourth from right. Photo credit: Fresh Science/Science in Public.
31 August 2017:
Caritas College students visiting the University of Adelaide for a ‘science day’ were shown around laboratory spaces in the Braggs Building by CNBP PHD students Kathryn Palasis (pictured) and Georgina Sylvia.
The 23 Year 9 school students were given a tour through a synthetic chemistry lab and then spoke with both CNBP researchers about the work being done and their journeys through University. This was followed by a further tour through a fibre-optics laboratory.
According to Kathryn, “The students seemed engaged and interested, particularly with the fibre-optics tour. And feedback from Amy (who organised the day) was that the students enjoyed it and that the teachers were very appreciative. Personally I spoke to a girl who said she was interested in studying science at university which was very pleasing to hear, and hopefully we encouraged others to see it as an appealing career path as well.”
14 March 2017:
CNBP is happy to announce its newest PhD student Kathryn Palasis who is located at the University of Adelaide.
Kathryn who was was recently selected as the 2017 recipient of the Cedric Stanton Hicks Research Scholarship, will be working on switchable molecules and their applications in medicinal chemistry – with a particular emphasis on the design of photoswitchable protease inhibitors and the development of hypoxia-sensitive sensors and probes.
Graduating from Adelaide University with a Bachelor of Advanced Science (Double Chemistry Major) Kathryn previously won the G. M. Badger Prize for best weighted overall performance in courses of Level III Chemistry. This was followed by an Honours degree, also from Adelaide University where her thesis was titled “Synthesis and Activity of Switchable Azobenzene-Based Proteasome Inhibitors.”
As a PhD student, Kathryn will be working with her supervisor Prof Andrew Abell (CNBP Chief Investigator) on synthesising photoswitches of biological activity. She will also be collaborating with CNBP Investigator Robert McLaughlin (and his work on optical probes) and also Jeremy Thompson, CNBP Chief Investigator (and his work in the ‘Spark of Life’ theme).
Welcome to the CNBP team Kathryn!