Alexandre started his undergraduate degree with an open mind and wasn't sure what he wanted to do after Biomedicine.
“I knew I didn’t want to pursue the traditional medicine pathway. Through my major I got to work in a lab for the first time and get a taste for what research would be like - and I fell in love with research,” Alexandre says.
Developing a keen interest in mental health research during his Honours year, Alexandre's project looked at the role of dopamine receptors in developmental psychiatric disorders.
"Getting formal research experience through my Honours project was invaluable," he reflects.
After working as a Research Assistant role at The Florey Institute Alexandre pursued his doctoral studies investigating the association between the age of onset of drug use, genetic factors, early life adversity and cognition in people with substance use disorders.
"My PhD was highly collaborative and I had the opportunity to travel the world," says Alexandre.
Alexandre now works as a Project Manager at Orygen (Center for Youth Mental Health) on a suite of clinical trials investigating new pharmacological interventions to treat substance use disorders in young people.
I get to use all the knowledge acquired in my PhD and apply it in a clinical setting.
As for what is next, Alex says he has lots of options: “Research is constantly changing. I could stay in academia, move to industry or work for pharmaceutical company or take a non-research role in policy, intellectual property or journalism.”