First published Tuesday 21 June 2022.
What is the next logical step for your research?
During my thesis, we've looked at the effect of treatment on the immune system in the first winter of life. From this we have a big outstanding question, are those protective effects sustained into the second year of treatment. So that's the natural progression.
And then the other thing I'm looking at is a single cell approach. We've done sequencing on mixed cell populations to all the immune cells. Meaning we have looked at all the immune cells together in bulk. But now I am thinking can we tease out the individual cell types and understand what cells are affected by treatment. This will lead to personalised medicine and creation targeted approaches for therapy for babies, so that they have the best chance of leading happy, healthy lives.
But in saying this, I am just beginning my career, it's very, very early in the game, so I have to really think.
How will flexible funding through the Illuminate Awards support your career?
Flexible funding is amazing. I feel like I now have the ability to really demonstrate that there is an opportunity to have impact elsewhere and that funding would be great in that space.
It has given me the opportunity to breathe and explore my options.
I never want to go for the low hanging fruit, but I know that's always a good place to get started when you're going to change into a new field. This new area of interest will require interstate collaborations, as no one at Telethon Kids or in WA is doing it- I am keeping it quite close to chest at the moment.
I need to have deeper conversations with key people to see what’s going to be a feasible approach. Bringing a new area of research and building a team around me at any institute is no small feat.
If I cannot get that going soon, the money will still be well spent on the next stage of my Asthma project which I am also very passionate about.
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