Erin’s research interest in the social implications of genetics and genomics began during her Bachelor of Biomedicine when a module on genetics looked at the impact of genetic disorders and cancer on families.
“I have always been a people person and was fortunate to discover a niche that enabled me to pursue my interest in science beyond the confines of a laboratory” she says.
Continuing her academic development at the University of Melbourne, Erin completed a Master of Biomedical Science. There were plenty of new skills to learn, a research component running all year and coursework subjects to complement her research project.
The University of Melbourne is renowned for its academic, teaching and research excellence – and its support for students with disabilities was another reason I chose to study here.
"It would not have been possible for me to pursue tertiary studies without this incredible support,” says Erin.
Erin is now completing her PhD at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) and is the recipient of a highly competitive National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) postgraduate scholarship - an achievement she is immensely proud of.
“My research project is part of a broad programme of work within the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance that seeks to investigate how the integration of genomic sequencing into paediatric clinical practice can be best supported,” Erin explains.
As for what’s next, the future is bright. Erin is keen to be involved in genomic technologies research and in meeting its challenges: providing faster and more precise diagnoses for patients and families who have often gone years searching for a diagnosis and ensuring the anticipated benefits of genomic medicine for patients and families are fully realised.
“I also want to teach - being mentored by pioneering women and having been taught and inspired by exemplary researchers during my previous degrees has inspired me. I want to encourage more students to pursue a career in biomedical research,” she says.
Authors note: In 2016 Erin was a Biomedicine Medal awardee – one of two in this particular year. Each year the Bachelor of Biomedicine Medal is presented to a student who has completed their studies and is determined by a Faculty selection committee to be the highest achieving student across the course.