Associate Professor Odilia Wilburg

Academic Adviser & Teaching Specialist

When did you join the School of Biomedical Sciences?

I have worked in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology since 1996! First as a PhD student on exchange, then a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and now as an Academic Teaching Specialist.

What inspires you about your work?

I lecture in immunology and microbiology subjects to second and third year students, first year MD students and second year of the Doctor of Optometry.

I am involved in curriculum development and innovation. We continuously look at how we may deliver content differently through new technologies and innovative and exciting content.

I’m passionate about presenting new discoveries and including research outcomes in our subjects.

Why is the School – and the Biomedical Precinct – a great place to work?

Collegiality with co-workers within the School,  teaching and research collaboration, the inspiring biomedical research that is conducted – and the opportunities for students to interact with lecturers and researchers to be inspired and get involved.

What lies ahead for your field?

Currently, in the field of infection and immunity, it is all about COVID-19! Many of my colleagues are actively involved in research on SARS-Cov2, either to characterise immune responses to this viral infection, develop vaccine strategies, identify and develop treatment options and perform genomic analyses and understanding the epidemiology of this infection.

More broadly for the immunology discipline, I think the development of novel immune based cancer therapies is exciting.

Who stands out for you as a mentor or adviser during your career? How did they help?

I’ve had the pleasure of working with many inspiring colleagues, locally, nationally and internationally. One person who stands out in particular as a mentor is Prof. Roy Robins-Browne, who is an amazing teacher and scientist. I’ve learned from him that being a good listener is important as a mentor, and sharing and reflecting on earlier experiences is meaningful.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t forget to relax and enjoy! Studying hard and working on a career is important, but there is more than that in life, and it is important to keep perspective, to enjoy, to look for opportunities, and to ask for support and direction when needed.

Melbourne Academic Advising Program

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