Getting to know... Kate Hoy

Dr Kate Hoy

Dr Kate Hoy

Name: Dr Kate Hoy
Title: Research Fellow
Faculty/Division: Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Dept: Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc)
Campus: Alfred Hospital

How long have you worked at Monash?
I have worked for Monash in some capacity since my third year of undergraduate study in 2001 (i.e. casual research assistant, sessional tutor).  I have been in my current position since 2008. 

Where did you work prior to starting at the University?
Immediately prior to working for the university I had a job at Blockbuster Video, right around the time that DVDs were starting to really take off …

What do you like best about your role? 
Easily the people I work with. I have been with MAPrc since my honours year in 2002, and I have made many close friends over that time. I am also really grateful for the freedom I am given in my current role to be able to pursue the research I am passionate about – which is developing new treatments for people with severe mental illness.

Why did you choose your current career path?
Like many people I have had family members who have been greatly affected by mental illness and so I knew I wanted to do something in the area of psychiatry. My undergraduate degree was in Behavioural Neuroscience and following Honours I went on to do the Doctorate of Clinical Neuropsychology and initally planned to pursue a clinical career.  However, pretty early on I got hooked on research, mostly due to the enthusiam and work that was going on at MAPrc. In particular I was drawn to the concept that in research, through the development of new treatments, you can potentially impact a significantly greater number of people.

First job?
My first job was at a fruit and vegetable store.

Worst job?
My worst job, by far, was the fruit and vegetable store.

What research/projects are you currently working on and what does it involve? 

My research largely focuses on the effects of brain stimulation on cognition. Specifically, I examine the neurocognitive and neurobiological outcomes of techniques such as transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST). With the ultimate aim to develop novel biological approaches for the treatment of cognitive symptoms. 

Currently, I have a couple of projects running that are looking at the efficacy of  tDCS and tACS for the teatment of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. This work invovles recruiting patients to come into the research centre for a number of sessions over approximately three weeks and undergoing an EEG, brain stimulation and some cognitive testing.   

What is your favourite place in the world and why?
While I still have a lot of travelling to do, to date the favourite place I have visited is New Orleans. For the incredibly friendly people, the constant music and the amazing food. But my favourite place in the world is still Melbourne. 

What is your favourite place to eat and why?
I really enjoy Damask in Fitzroy, really good tapas and nice rooftop setting.  Plus only a minute walk from home. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
The best advice I have read would be:  

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

Very helpful advice to (try) and live by when funding outcomes are announced. 

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues wouldn’t know? 
I had a starring role in a stage production of a modern retelling of Snow White. I played Snow White’s mother (not the evil one).