Student Profile - Dr Jodie Abramovitch

Student Profile - Jodie Abramovitch

Jodie successfully completed her PhD studies and passed in 2015. She was in the Department of Immunology where she was researching shellfish allergies, supervised by Prof Jennifer Rolland and Prof Robyn O'Hehir. This interview was published in 2014. Jodie now works as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Allergy Laboratory at Monash.

What is your research about?

It's a clinical project, so it's looking at the effect that food processing, particularly cooking, has on shellfish allergy. We don't really know much about it, and here in Australia we usually cook our shellfish before we eat it so we are trying to see if cooking shellfish makes a difference to the allergic reaction when compared to it being raw.

What interested you about this sort of research?

Well, I sort of fell into it really. I didn't have a particular interest so I did biomedicine for my undergraduate and then I didn't know what to do after that, so I figured I'd do honours because I liked the research side of things. Then this project came up which I thought looked really interesting so I went for it.

What do you do in your spare time?

I go to a lot of gigs, I really like music. And, I like going bush walking when I get time!

What was your first job?

Retail...I probably shouldn't mention the company because I hated it!

Have you always been interested in clinical research?

I grew up in a rural area, so to be honest it wasn't really even on my radar. I just knew that I liked science and I knew that I also didn't want to do medicine so that's when I started to do biomed and it worked out really well because I really enjoy it.

What's your favourite place in the world?

That's a really tricky question. I would say anywhere that's a bit isolated though. I grew up in the bush so I like having that peace and quiet.

You were on the committee for the CCS Postgraduate Symposium, how did you find that?

Well it was interesting because I'd never been on a committee before, but it was a lot of work. It all worked out really nicely in the end though. I think I learnt a lot from the organising aspect of things, it was a great experience.

What advice would you give to someone who is about to start their PhD?

Follow your gut.  I think that's the most important thing. If it doesn't feel right, then don't do it.

Who were your supervisors and what did you like about them?

My supervisors were Prof Jennifer Rolland and Prof Robyn O'Hehir. I think they balance each other really well. Robyn is a clinician so she's got this really big general view of things and she's good with working out the big picture. Jenny has been a research scientist...forever! So she's really good with the details, so between them both I get a really good balance.

What will you do when you finish your PhD?

Good question! Getting out of academia at some point I think. But I really like the lab work so I might go into industry, but we'll see what happens.