Entry for:2018 Queensland Women in STEM Prize
1. Please provide a short summary of your research, project or technology.
My research identifies and chemically synthesises molecules that have been secreted by the hookworm in the gut, as potential therapeutic treatment for autoimmune diseases (AD), such as Coeliac Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Type-1 Diabetes. Around 5% of Australian suffers from autoimmune diseases. This number will continue to increase with the development of Western civilisation. It is believed that we have become 'too clean' and the decrease of infectious burden our ancestors once possessed (like parasites), is hypothesised to increase our susceptibility to allergies and AD. Currently, I have identified two molecules that appear to decrease inflammatory cells in human blood and provide protection to diseased mice from inflammation. By exploring the effects of these particular peptides, I am hoping to increase our understanding of AD and potentially produce a drug for treatment to Queensland patients that are affected by these diseases.
2. Additional Details
I was born in Brisbane but grew up on the Sunshine coast in Queensland, where my family and I spent the majority of our time at the beach or exploring outdoors. When finishing school, I wanted to b...