National Science Week 2019

Hands on activities in the BLTB.
Hands on activities in the BLTB.

The Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) celebrated National Science Week with a visit from South Oakleigh Secondary College students on Friday 16 August. The day started with an introduction from Professor John Carroll, Monash BDI Director, who shared with the students how far biomedical research has come in the last 100 years.

Professor Carroll told the students about the important biomedical research that is taking place here in Melbourne and around the world, which provides the basis for the development of medicines and vaccinations that allow people to live longer, healthier lives. Yet despite amazing progress, there will always be new challenges; we have yet to uncover the underlying causes of many diseases, including cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

The students went behind the scenes and toured some of our labs before engaging in two interactive workshops at the new Biomedical Learning and Teaching Building: ‘The science behind lung disease’ and ‘Zebrafish in biomedical research’.

Professor John Carroll telling the students about the last 100 years of biomedical science.Lung disease is a major problem in our society - more and more people live with conditions such as asthma or emphysema. But what does it feel like to have a respiratory condition? In this workshop, the students measured their own lung function and simulate breathing with respiratory conditions. By doing so, they learnt more about the science behind lung disease.

The students also learnt why the amazing zebrafish are a popular animal model in biomedical research, gaining hands-on experience by observing the development of zebrafish embryos, and touring one of the world's largest research aquariums.

The day concluded with a Q&A session with two of our early career researchers. Dr Amy Winship and Dr Thierry Jarde spoke to the students about their own experiences in the field of biomedical science. Students asked questions such as “Did you ever think you’d be a scientist when you were in high school?” and “What piece of equipment or technology do you most enjoy working with?”

About National Science Week

National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology and thousands of individuals – from students, to scientists to chefs and musicians – get involved, taking part in more than 1000 science events across the nation.

Established in 1997, National Science Week provides an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Australian scientists to the world of knowledge. It also aims to encourage an interest in science pursuits among the general public, and to encourage younger people to be fascinated by the world we live in.

About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.