Keyes-Pearce Laboratory Experience Award

Thanks to an experiential award sponsored by alumna Dr Susan Keyes-Pearce two final-year Bachelor of Biomedicine students were the recipients of transformative hands-on laboratory internships last summer working alongside scientific leaders at The Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

Students  Victor Lin (L) and Rachael Tong (R) with Dr Susan Keyes-Pearce (Centre)

As recipients of the 2016 Keyes-Pearce Microbiology and Immunology Laboratory Experience Award, Rachael Tong and Victor Lin spent four weeks at The Doherty Institute to learn a range of laboratory techniques and discover what a career in basic science research involves.

“It was thrilling to experience the frontier of immunological research first-hand,” said Victor Lin.  “Navigation through the world of research requires an extraordinary amount of lateral thinking, and it is precisely this aspect that prompted me to apply for the Keyes-Pearce Laboratory Experience Award in the first place, and continues to fuel my passion for basic research.”

Dr Keyes-Pearce credits her own experience of an (unpaid) internship during her studies in the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit at the University of Melbourne as having had a ‘lasting impact on [her] thinking and views’.

“My experience as an intern heightened my understanding of what it is to work as a scientist, and deepened my fascination with bench-top research,” says Dr Keyes-Pearce.

“I believe it is very important for established scientists to encourage and welcome the new generation of researchers. Offering hands-on experience and internships are a way of grooming tomorrow’s workforce of enthusiastic, enquiring and dedicated scientific minds,” she said.

The annual Keyes-Pearce Microbiology and Immunology Laboratory Experience Award is granted to two undergraduate students enrolled in a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Biomedicine at The University of Melbourne. The award funds a four-week full-time placement in a research laboratory with an academic mentor as well as attendance at the annual Infection and Immunity Conference in Lorne, Victoria.

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Lisa-Maree David