Tag Archives: Sanam Mustafa

Outreach at Adelaide High School

17 May 2018:

Superstar of STEM and CNBP researcher Dr Sanam Mustafa has taken her outreach skills to Adelaide High School, speaking to approximately 300 Year 9 students (across two sessions) about her scientific activity, her career as a scientist and what it takes to succeed in a University environment.

“My talk was extremely well received by the students and teaching staff,” said Dr Mustafa. “They loved the personal stories and hearing about the light-focused science that we do at the CNBP.”

As part of her outreach activity at the school,  Dr Mustafa also ran an interactive workshop  for students, aimed at illustrating the importance of developing tests to quantify levels of pain for both human and animal populations.

“The students, in groups of about 10 were asked to discuss painful conditions that they had experienced and to try to find a common experience (maybe a paper cut or sprained ankle for instance). I then asked them to rate their pain from a scale of 1-10 to see how this varied within the group to demonstrate the subjectivity,” says Dr Mustafa.

“I then asked the groups to discuss if and why this subjectivity is a problem – such as inability of small children to describe pain, an inaccurate description of pain resulting in the administration of wrong medication and deliberate manipulation of pain scores for drug seeking behaviour.”

“Finally, I told the students how I hoped to develop a test to quantify pain to help overcome this subjectivity and showed them a slide demonstrating the ‘colour of pain’ from our ongoing hyperspectral work.”

“Feedback from the day was extremely positive,” concluded Dr Mustafa. “And it was fantastic to see so many engaged students actively thinking about science and how it has the potential to have such a beneficial and positive impact on society.”

Below – Adelaide High School visited by CNBP’s Dr Sanam Mustafa.

CNBP at ‘Science meets Parliament’

15 February 2018:

Four CNBP’ers attended ‘Science meets Parliament (SmP)’, a high profile political engagement STA event held in Canberra, 13-14th February, 2018.

The event gives science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals the chance to build a profile for their important work in the Parliamentary environment. This includes meeting privately with politicians to discuss areas of research expertise, as well as unique professional development opportunities focused on clarifying competing rationalities of science, politics and public policy.

The four attendees were CNBP Chief Operating Officer Kathy Nicholson, CNBP PhD student Emma Wilson from RMIT University, CNBP researcher Dr Lindsay Parker (representing Macquarie University) and Dr Sanam Mustafa (The University of Adelaide and a Superstar of STEM, Afternoon Chair on Day One of the event).

Feedback from all representatives was extremely positive with all gaining from their SmP experience.

Emma Wilson met with Western Australian Senator Slade Brockman for her Parliamentarian meeting.

“I told him about my work exploring fluorescent nanodiamonds so we can develop them as tiny light beacons to see what is happening inside our cells,” she said.

“I explained that the CNBP has created an environment where I can explore the fundamentals of the material with an application in mind.”

A major highlight for Emma was getting to meet some of her STEM heroes.

“I had a chat with Australian of the Year Professor Michelle Simmons,” she said.

“We discussed gender balance and equity and the importance of having quality mentorship for creating better scientists. We also discussed the inflexibility of institutes when it comes to accommodating people, both men and women, with carer roles.”

CNBP’s Dr Lindsay Parker was enthusiastic about the SmP event too.

“I met with MP Karen Andrews, who has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2010, representing the Division of McPherson in Queensland,” she said.

“Karen is the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills and also a co-chair of The Parliamentary Friends of Science. I explained to her how small the nanoscale is relative to things such as human hair and bacteria. I also mentioned some of the materials we work with in the Centre such as nanodiamonds, how they are fluorescent and why they are excellent nanoprobes for use in neuro-imaging.”

Lindsay continued, “I sat next to MP Craig Kelly at the Gala dinner – he’s in the House of Representatives for Hughes, New South Wales. I spoke to him about my neuroscience research and how hopefully one day we can better engineer anti-inflammatory drugs to target the correct cells with less side effects during chronic pain and Alzheimer’s. I mentioned how CNBP is an excellent multidisciplinary Centre linking biology, chemistry and physics. He asked questions about how the drugs work and when they would be ready for use in humans.”

Lindsay summed up, “All of the politicians, CEOs and organisation heads at SmP clearly recognised the need to continue to promote and improve opportunities for women in STEM industries. Senator Michaelia Cash gave a particularly inspirational and enthusiastic speech about this at the Gala dinner and I was impressed that both she and my matched MP Karen Andrews were genuinely interested in science research and improving STEM promotion as a great career in Australia.”

Below: CNBP’s Dr Lindsay Parker, COO Kathy Nicholson, Emma Wilson and Dr Sanam Mustafa at ‘Science meets Parliament’.

 

 

 

 

CNBP at ‘Science meets Policymakers’

8 August 2017:

CNBP was well represented at the STA ‘Science meets Policymakers’ event held in Canberra, August 8, 2017.

Researchers A/Prof Guozhen Liu, Dr Alf Garcia-Bennett, Dr Sanam Mustafa and Dr Hannah Brown all attended and heard a number of talks on topics ranging from ‘A Whole Government approach to Science Policy’, to ‘A Crash-course in STEM and Policy Making’ through to discussion on ‘Positive and Meaningful Contributions to Policy.’

A/Prof Guozhen Liu particularly enjoyed the ‘Working Round Table’ discussion. “We discussed the 2030 Strategic Plan for the Australian Innovation, Science and Research System, which will help shape future science activity in Australia. It was emphasized that Australia encourages both fundamental and applied research, and that research excellence is key.”

A/Prof Liu also noted the importance of effective communication between stakeholders. “Methods and approaches to drive effective and engaged connections between Universities, Government and Industry were topics that were explored and discussed in depth throughout the day.”

The ‘Science meets Policymakers’ event brought together researchers and practitioners from a range of science and technology disciplines, with policymakers from across government departments and agencies. Objectives included to make connections and to examine the intersection between the evidence base and actual policy development.

Superstars of STEM

3 July 2017:

Congratulations to CNBP’s Dr Hannah Brown and Dr Sanam Mustafa, both from the University of Adelaide and both selected to participate in the inaugural 2017 Superstars of STEM program.

The program, implemented by ‘Science and Technology Australia’, supports 30 women employed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to become highly visible public role models.

All participants will be trained in public speaking, media, and communicating with influence, with the objective of inspiring and encouraging young women in their STEM related education and study.

Opportunities provided by the program will include mainstream media interviews, speaker slots at public, corporate and Government events as well as support for local high school visits.

“This program will directly encourage young women and girls to study and stay in STEM – by speaking with them in their schools and workplaces, and by providing prominent public role models for them to aspire to,” STA CEO Kylie Walker said.

The program was launched today by Professor Emma Johnston (STA President-Elect) and Senator the Hon Arthur Sindodinos, Minister for Industry, Innovation & Science.

 

Post-operative pain management

10 May 2017:

Dr Sanam Mustafa, CNBP Researcher, presented an invited keynote lecture at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons 86th Annual Scientific Congress, 10 May 2017.

Her talk was titled, “Recent developments in post-operative pain management – should we be worried?” and discussed the implications of using morphine for neuropathic pain.

The Congress took place at the Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, South Australia.

Barbara Kidman Fellowship awarded

sanam Mustafa28 November 2016:

University of Adelaide and CNBP Researcher Dr Sanam Mustafa has been awarded a 2017 Barbara Kidman Fellowship.

The University of Adelaide Barbara Kidman Women’s Fellowship Scheme is designed to support female academics to enhance and promote their career. The Fellowships are named after Dr Barbara Kidman who, at the time (1940s and 1950s), defied society’s expectations of women in scientific roles.

The Fellowship offers opportunities to enhance, maintain or re-invigorate research momentum, as well as assist successful recipients in applying for, and assuming, enhanced roles in the near future.

Further information on the Fellowship is accessible online from the University of Adelaide web site.

 

 

Encouraging female students to study STEM subjects

sanam Mustafa11 August 2016:

After a successful keynote presentation at the 2015 annual ‘Beach Energy Women in STEM Breakfast’ at Thebarton Senior College, CNBP’s Dr Mustafa was once again invited back to the college to engage with young female students at the 2016 event.

Returning from maternity leave, Dr Sanam Mustafa was in an ideal position to highlight the evolution of male dominated fields towards a more balanced work environment where support was available for women returning from breaks in their career.

Dr Mustafa shared her positive experience at CNBP which she attributed to the nurturing leadership strategy of Professor Mark Hutchinson (a father of two young girls), and the culture of the organisation. She explained that it was important to maintain a channel of communication even during periods of absence so that it was easier to reconnect when coming back to the workplace.  Through this open communication, Dr Mustafa was able to negotiate a return to work plan that catered for her new responsibilities as a mother.

The event organisers themselves demonstrated their commitment to engaging women with caring responsibilities by welcoming Dr Mustafa’s 9 month old daughter Zaina to the breakfast event as well.

Feedback from participants was that this STEM focused networking and information session for high-school aged female students was a huge success.

Inspiring female careers in STEM

Sanam Mustafa High Res Edit 016627 August 2015:

CNBP’s Dr Sanam Mustafa was keynote speaker at the 2nd Annual Beach Energy Women in STEM Breakfast, that took place at Thebarton Senior College, Adelaide, on the 27th August 2015.

The event provided a networking and information session for high school aged female students involved in the STEM area.

Also attending was the Minister for the Status of Women and Minister for Science and Information Technology, the Hon. Gail Gago and the Minister for Education and Child Development, the Hon. Susan Close.

Dr Sanam Mustafa’s speech detailed her career choices and the context in which they had been made. Her journey was described as inspirational and was welcomed by all those who attended.

Hon. Susan Close commented,  “What an inspiring speech this morning by Dr Sanam Mustafa at the women in STEM breakfast at Thebarton Senior College – inspiring young female students to succeed in STEM subjects and grasp career opportunities.”

Dr Mustafa has been invited to speak at next year’s event, as well as at the school’s graduation ceremony by Acting Principal Eva Kannis-Torry.

Dr Sanam Mustafa presents at Pain Adelaide

Sanam Mustafa High Res Edit 016630 March 2015:

CNBP researcher, Dr Sanam Mustafa gave an invited talk at the Pain Adelaide 2015 meeting on March 30th 2015.

Her talk, ‘Receptor-Receptor Interactions: Key to understanding pain?’, addressed a diverse audience, that ranged from researchers and clinicians through to patients suffering from chronic pain. The presentation initiated interesting discussions around the understanding of pain at the molecular level and the development of more selective pain therapies.