"During the holidays, from 30 September to 2 October, I, along with Belinda Miller from CHAC and 10 other senior students from across Queensland, took part in a work experience program held at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR). This program was an incredible opportunity and introduced me to the vital sector of medical research.
"On the first day of the program, we undertook a tour of the animal facility, which held mice being used for experimentation. The facility turned out to be a very extensive and well-organised operation, with thousands of mice being used for breeding or various medical procedures. Throughout the day, we were also given instruction in several laboratory techniques, such as pipetting, DNA analysis and other microbiology techniques.
"The second and third days of the program saw us assigned to a laboratory where we undertook a placement with a researcher. On the second day, Belinda and I observed an experiment intended to analyse the effects of bone marrow transplants on the body. This investigation aimed to understand the negative side-effects of a bone marrow transplant, such as a fatty liver. We witnessed the dissections of numerous mice who had recently undergone a bone marrow transplant and then the breaking up of their organs into cells to be used for analysis.
"Our final day began with a tour of the mosquito facility. We were then assigned back to our researcher. She was working on another investigation that was attempting to develop a treatment for autoimmune diseases and allergies after previous research had shown that hookworms could be used to combat such diseases. The researchers were growing bacteria similar to that of kidney disease, which would then be tested against a protein isolated from hookworms that is believed to be able to treat the diseases.
"Overall, the three days at QIMR were an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in or considering a career in medical research or science."
Mia Forsingdal, Year 12