What is PUBS?

Pharmacology United with Biochemistry Students (PUBS) is a brand new student society, established this year.

With over 70 members, PUBS is a free-to-join student society designed to bring together Honours, Masters and PhD students across the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology.

Following the merger of the Departments of Biochemistry and Pharmacology in the School of Biomedical Sciences in January, the two corresponding student societies (formerly StOP and BAMBII) joined together to form "PUBS".

The society hosts social events for student inclusion, including pub nights and morning teas and help run student events for the Department, like the graduate retreat, graduate conference and welcome mixers.

Ashley Firth, Co-President of PUBS, said bringing the two societies together during COVID-19 has been difficult.

“One of the main aims of the merger was to encourage cohesion between students within the newly formed Department but we have only been able to hold a few in-person events. Without face to face interaction, it's hard to get student engagement and this hinders students from being able to meet and get to know each other.”

PUBS recently joined an inter-institute online trivia event hosted by another graduate research group: "It worked really well and there was lots of engagement from both students and primary researchers and while it wasn't the same as in-person trivia, it was a lot of fun and gave us a good idea of events that could be held in future," Ashley says.

Who can join

Honours, Masters and PhD students in the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology.

How to join

Contact PUBS

PUBS Executive Committee
  • Ashley Firth and Frank Mobilio - Co-Presidents
  • Harrison Waters and Alexander Anderson - Former StOP and BAMBII Presidents
  • Devi Jenika - Secretary
  • Megan Baker and Amelia Fryer - Co-Treasurers
  • Harriet Lancaster - Masters Representative
  • Christabella Mahendra and Mikaela Wong - Honours Representatives
Ashley Firth

Ashley joined the University of Melbourne in 2016 as an undergraduate student and is currently completing a PhD at the Bio21 Institute.  Ashely’s research project studies the process of palmitoylation - the posttranslational addition of the lipid palmitic acid, to proteins.

“Palmitoylation is a very important process in the cell, influencing protein-protein interactions and protein subcellular localisation. My studies look at how this process can influence the functioning of immune cells, and how a lack of palmitoylation may disrupt the immune system,” Ashley says.

"Being situated in the Biomedical Precinct gives me access to the amazing Bio21 Institute, where I work, and many other institutes like the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital and Murdoch Children's Research Institute. It opens up many avenues for collaborative research," she says.

Frank Mobilio

Frank undertook his Honour’s year in the Neuropharmacology Laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology, in 2018. He is currently undertaking a PhD investigating the role of neuroinflammation in Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“One thing that inspires me about my studies is the ongoing learning and discoveries that I have made along the way. Being surrounded by world leading researchers and like-minded people has a significant impact on motivating me," Frank says.

Want to know more about studying in the Department of Biochemistry & Pharmacology?