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A dynamic trio of year 11 students from the John Monash Science School (JMSS) have made waves within the scientific community. In collaboration with ARMI, the trio developed a movement inhibitor device to better analyse zebrafish models in research. The device, in recognition of its uniqueness and innovation, earned them a place at this year’s national iAwards as a national contender.

Moving from Colombia eight years ago to study a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne, Laura Galvis Vargas is a seasoned Melbournite. As a member of the Marcelle Group, Laura is undertaking her PhD in muscle regeneration research, and she is already renowned amongst ARMI for her passion for science and collaboration (facilitated by the ABC symposium).

As a UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program) student, Laura commenced her research career at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in the field of lung epigenetics. Under the supervision of Dr. Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat, she completed her honours and worked as a research assistant, developing her skills as a scientist.

At ARMI, our research capabilities are our greatest strength- bringing together the best minds to tackle some the most difficult issues in regenerative medicine. But behind the lab bench, a different sort of research takes place; one that empowers our scientists and generates opportunities through advocacy and promotion. The Institute’s Leadership Advisory Board is one of them (ARMILAB) ‑ and one of its newest members members, Sonya Walker, is excited to take part and help researchers.

“I’ve had a wonderful career in science,” beams Claude, “I wish a lot of people the same pleasure of going to work every day like I have!” Claude always knew that he would have a career in science, but with a medical focus, “I knew early I didn’t want to do medicine as I knew I was more interested in discovery.”  Claude was born and bred in Paris, and it was where Claude’s love for science began – he completed his undergraduate degree there.  As Claude loved to ski, he decided to relocate to Montreal, Canada to study and complete his French National Service. He really thought he was being clever and laughs telling the story, “I didn’t count on it being -40°C making it difficult to be outside, let alone ski!” Nevertheless, Claude endured the cold Arctic winters of Montreal, finished his national service and completed his masters and PhD there. 

Life of the female scientist will inevitably incur more career disruptions than that of their male counterparts. For Mirana, her disruption is a tug of war -albeit a good one- between her two loves; science and motherhood. Heading off for six months maternity leave in April, it’s a frantic time for Mirana at ARMI. Juggling the life of a group leader, new mother, a soon to be mother of a second child, lab deadlines, impending maternity leave and (to top it off) a burst pipe at home, Mirana’s got her work cut out for her.

Spotlight on zebrafish

Be Inspired / 3 November 2015

Although they are small in stature, measuring between 2.5cm to 4cm, the tropical fish native to South East Asia are making important contributions to scientific research, particularly the field of regenerative medicine.