Dr Rosa McCarty
What are your research interests/background?
I started out at The University of Adelaide as a developmental biologist prior to transitioning to stem cell biology. My PhD involved the characterization of bone marrow stromal cells and an exploration of the potential application of these cells in cartilage regeneration. My postdoctoral research was at the Australian Stem Cell Centre and The University of Melbourne investigating stromal stem cells in the adult lung and their relationship with lung epithelial stem cells in tissue homeostasis.
What attracted you to teaching?
I think I was destined to become a teacher - it’s in my genes! My mother and father were both passionate educators, in the arts and sciences. In addition to teaching secondary students around the world, they also taught teachers-in-training at university. The transformative power of education has been instilled in me from a young age, and I see it as the noblest profession.
Why is it important to educate students on interdisciplinary topics such as stem cells and emerging technologies?
I find stem cell biology and emerging technologies unique in that the science is inextricably linked with the humanities and social sciences. The pace of innovation around stem cells and emerging technologies necessitates the consideration of philosophical, ethical, societal, and regulatory perspectives in parallel. These types of questions and considerations exist in other biological science disciplines, but are not an often established part of the narrative. This interdisciplinary and integrated approach is rich, challenging, and an integral component of being an innovative scientist and advocate for science in the community.
How would you describe your approach to teaching?
I see myself as a proponent of the ‘big picture’ approach. I recognise the importance of specialisation and deep scholarly understanding, but am equally passionate about helping students to take a holistic approach, to be able to make connections and integrate new information in a broader, global perspective. The development of research/academic skills is also very important to me. Communicating science appropriately and responsibly, individually and in groups, in verbal and in written forms to a range of audiences. The foundation of my approach to teaching involves ‘purpose and product’ – learning by creating something meaningful, genuine and relevant.
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