Micro Life Zone
Asked by davidmcafeescience to Mia, Sam on 6 Sep 2013.
David, do you have a favorite subject? If so, why is it you favourite?
My guess is your favourite subject is where you have fun most of the time, it is where your skills kick butt and you understand ideas in this subject clearly, you are also keen for the next lesson because there is something there that just CLICKS with who you are. Microbiology does all those things for me!!!
I studied very different fields when I first got into uni. Some of the fields were pharmacology and pharmacy, I realized that whilst designing my own drugs is important for treating disease, there are things about the use of drugs that we still don’t know. Like how bacteria and viruses develop resistance! I did some reading and became fascinated with DNA exchange between bacteria and how this results in drug resistance and how this ultimately makes it hard for us to treat patients!!
My work not only looks at DNA movement in Superbugs, it also looks at the protein and DNA interactions in these bugs!
The more I studied bacteria the more I realized that they have amazing potential in industry, anything from Beer production to cheese making and decontaminating explosive sites and radiation fields!
I then read a bit more and I found out that more bacteria cells are found in and outside of the human body then there are human cells. That totally blew my mind! Everyday I learn something new about the tiny world of microbes and I am hooked! 🙂
Hey david I love these questions!
Honestly when I went to uni I had no idea what I wanted to do when I finished. I covered a lot of subjects at uni ranging from microbiology to chemistry, even to aquaculture! At the halfway mark of my uni degree I was convinced I wanted to work in aqauaculture. I thought it would be super interesting to study fish farming and genetically modified fish for humans to eat all over the world. Then as I finished uni I realised if I specialised in aquaculture I would be limited to aquaculture for my whole career. But if i specialised in something like biochemistry I could use biochemistry in aquaculture if I wanted to, and in heaps of other places!
I was lucky enough that one of my teachers thought I was a good student and offered me a project in his lab. I got to design my own test to pick up when proteins are chopping other proteins. I was hooked! It was interesting engineering proteins and making my own hybrids that there was nothing else I wanted to do!
So, when I finished that project (it went for a year of study after I finished uni) I got a job in the same lab with that same teacher. And that is where I work today! Now I engineer my own proteins that I extract from very deadly bacteria, and I get to be the first person in the world who ever knows anything about those proteins. This is super important because some of these proteins may be the key to new medicines to cure a disease!
I can’t think of anything more exciting than to be able to work on something that kills millions of people a year, and know that my work could be the work that ends up solving the problem!
By BRIDGE8 under license from Mangorolla CIC 2023