How e-Meet informs and inspires the next generation of Biomedical Scientists, with Ashleigh Hayes

Ashleigh Hayes, was part of last years e-Meet a Biomedical Scientist Program which gave her the opportunity to present to a Biology teachers network. Here's what she had to say.

Ashleigh Hayes, a participating researcher in last years e-Meet a Biomedical Scientist Program, was invited to present the the Biology Teachers’ Network Inc. this year, following on from her successful e-Meet presentation to Genazzano College's Unit 3 and 4 Biology course students in 2022.

Ashleigh is a Research Assistant in the Howden Laboratory in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and is undertaking research on Staphylococcus aureus (often nicknamed golden staph) which is a common bacterium that lives on the skin or in the nose.

Her research was a strong point of interest for the Biology Teachers’ Network Inc. Committee this year.

"The Committee were surprised that changes to the DNA of Staphylococcus aureus can have a significant impact in its survival and adaptation to various selective pressures," Ashleigh said.

They also wondered what potential future clinical impacts her research can have - and how that would translate “from the bench to the bedside”.

"I was able to provide insight into how the material taught in the science classroom translates into real life research," Ashleigh said.

When presenting at Genazzano FCJ College as part of the eMeet Program last year, students were very keen to find out about Ashleigh’s career pathway to Biomedical Science - in particular her interest in bacterial research. They also wanted to know why she chose the University of Melbourne and to understand the benefits and opportunities available by studying and working at the University.

The students were really curious to know about a 'typical day as a researcher' and also wondered about the gender bias in the Biomedical Science field, given that I presented at an all-girls school.

Through her participation in the e-Meet Program as a researcher, Ashleigh has been able to continue to share her insights and professional experience in the Biomedical Sciences, and answer some pointed questions from both students, and later at the Biology Teacher's Network.

“Ashleigh’s work was aligned amazingly with our Unit 3 and 4 Biology course. As teachers we find it so valuable to be able to use real life examples when we discuss concepts with students - it allows us to perhaps question and clarify the research realities involved. And it's why we asked Ashleigh to return to speak at the Biology Teacher’s Network and share her insights," said Genazzano FJC College's Science Curriculum Leader, Susan.

The e-Meet a Biomedical Scientist Program also allows researchers to provide insight into how science learnt in school provides an essential knowledge base to pursue a career in the biomedical sciences, motivating the next generation of Biomedical Scientists.

To find out more about the School's annual e-Meet Program or to get involved as a biomedical researcher and engage with your community please visit this page or register below.

Schools: Register Your Interest Here

Experts: Register Your Interest Here