Where will your career take you?

What do an architect, an optometrist, an orthopaedic surgery registrar, a dentist, a patent attorney, a physiotherapist, a critical care resident, a lab manager and a continuous improvement manager all have in common? A Bachelor of Biomedicine!

Here are some of our amazingly diverse Bachelor of Biomedicine alumni who have each have shared their journey with our undergraduates as part of our Career Roundtable Event Series - like lessons learned and the things they underestimated when planning and working to forge their own career paths.

 

Bachelor of Biomedicine Alumni

Anahita Ghanbari

Lab Manager

Anahita completed the Bachelor of Biomedicine, majoring in Neuroscience, then completed an Honours year, also in Neuroscience, at the University of Melbourne. Anahita is current a Lab Manager in a Neuroscience research lab which includes managing the team, the lab finances as well as scientific work.

Her first job was working as a team member at KFC. “I learned a lot in the two years I worked there, especially about money, and saving it!, as well as interacting with a people from all walks of life.”

Outside of the lab, Anahita enjoys travelling and recently discovered a love for scuba diving. “There’s something about observing and interacting with aquatic wildlife in their natural habitat and being disconnected from the outside world that brings me peace and joy.”

Carla Mileo

Student Architect

Carla competed the Bachelor of Biomedicine, majoring in Neuroscience and Physiology, a Diploma in Italian Language, studies in Aesthetics and Philosophy of Language, and is now in her final semester of Master of Architecture studies at the University of Melbourne.

Carla has a professional interest in exploring the nexus between architecture, sensory perception, and health, to design restorative environments that enhance therapeutic outcomes and wellbeing.

Her first job was a part-time administration and reception role at the St Vincent’s Acute Inpatient Psychiatric Service. “This was an extremely informative experience for many reasons. In particular, for the opportunity to contribute to a Neuroaesthetics research study investigating the impact of the visual environment on patient recovery. Through this research and firsthand experience in the ward environment, I gained understanding of the critical connection between design and therapeutic outcomes for patients and staff. This was the turning point in my decision to pursue a career at the intersection of architecture and human sciences.”

Outside of work, Carla enjoys art, cinema and language.

 

Celine Dubois

Student Support & Department Liaison Coordinator, The Florey

Celine graduated from the Bachelor of Biomedicine, majoring in Pathology, in 2017. She then completed the Master of Biomedical Science in 2019 at the University of Melbourne.

Celine began her journey at The Florey in 2018 as a Master student. Before transitioning to her current position in July 2023, Celine was the Laboratory Manager within the Neurodegeneration and Neuropathology Group.

Her first job was working as a lifeguard in a military camp in New Zealand before moving to Australia. She then worked in hospitality as a waitress, barista, and floor manager throughout her studies. "I worked in hospitality for 5 years, and my various roles taught me to be more social and not to be afraid to start a conversation with people you don’t know, especially when English is not your first language. These skills are very important for networking, which is crucial when working in academia."

Outside of work, Celine is a fur mom who goes on motorbike rides in Victoria when the weather permits.

Karin Gunatilake

Orthopaedic Surgery Registrar

Karin graduated with a Bachelor of Biomedicine, majoring in Neuroscience, and a Doctor of Medicine at the University of Melbourne. Karin now works as an unaccredited Orthopaedic surgery registrar at The Alfred Hospital.

Karin worked as a medical intern in Alice Sprints, Northern Territory, then spent two years of surgical residency at The Alfred Hospital. Her first job was at the Bourke Street Maccas for five years as a store manager, and previously played rugby for The University of Melbourne.

“Maccas got me ready for shift work, people management and crisis mitigation more than my medical degree did. Running out of nuggets at 1:00am after an AC/DC concert finished is still high on the list of most stressful situations I’ve dealt with – just below traumatic amputation at 3:00am at a rural hospital. I still think it was one of the most pivotal stages of my life.”

In addition to her work, she is also preparing for her first high-altitude hike in Ecuador scheduled for later this year.

Kieren Do

Optometrist

Kieren completed the Bachelor of Biomedicine in 2015, majoring in Neuroscience, then a Doctor of Optometry in 2019.

"I was looking for a career that allowed me to simultaneously solve problems but also interact and help others on a daily basis.”

His first job was working as a VCE tutor whilst studying Biomedicine. “It taught me time management skills as I juggled my studies. As well as providing feedback and having professional conservations with parents, something I had not had exposure prior!”

Outside of work Kieren looks after a toy poodle, supports the Port Adelaide AFL team and likes planning his next overseas holiday.

Michelle Blythe

Patent Attorney

Michelle graduated with a Bachelor of Biomedicine, majoring in Bioengineering Systems, a Masters of Engineering (Biomedical) and a Master of Intellectual Property Law at the University of Melbourne. Michelle now specialises in patenting of medical devices and biomedical instruments.

Michelle worked part time for Hungry Jacks in her first year before  gaining a place in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) where she worked as a research assistant at the Ludwig Institute (Now part of WEHI). Michelle undertook a clinical engineering internship in her final year and her first job was as a Biomedical Engineer at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne in medical device maintenance and repair.

"I feel like I had two first jobs - the first as an engineer and the second as a patent attorney. While I enjoyed working with medical devices in a hands-on way, I found that I could have a greater impact on patients and the healthcare industry by helping others commercialise their ideas in medical technology. I work with clinicians, start-ups, and established companies within and outside of Australia. I love the thought process behind patenting a new invention and the creative "out-of-the-box" thinking to capture concepts beyond the original idea."

Michelle Mun

Dentist & Lecturer

Michelle graduated with a Bachelor of Biomedicine majoring in Neuroscience, and a Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Melbourne. Michelle now works as a dentist and lecturer in Digital Health Transformation in Dentistry at the University of Melbourne Dental School, with a joint appointment at the Centre for Digital Transformation of Health (CDTH)

After graduating, she worked as a dentist across private and public dental sectors whilst lending her clinical expertise to startups, dental organisations and government in the digital health space.

She has since specialised in informatics at the University of Texas Health Science Centre.

Michelle's first job was as a waitress at a busy Malaysian restaurant. "I had to quickly develop skills in delivering great customer service, communicating in a team, managing expectations and conflict, and multi-tasking in high-pressure environments - all of which have proven valuable job skills, especially for working as a dentist!"

Outside of work, Michelle enjoys watching and reading sci-fi, learning languages, and dabbling in arts and crafts.

Scott Starkey

Physiotherapist, Lecturer & Lab Coordinator

Scott graduated with a Bachelor of Biomedicine, a Doctor of Physiotherapy, and a Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. Scott now works at the University as a Lecturer and Coordinator of the Department of Physiotherapy Human Movement Laboratory.

Scott's research expertise is in the field of clinical and computational biomechanics, particularly relating to the rehabilitation of knee pathologies to prevent the onset and progression of knee osteoarthritis.

“My first job was part-time as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist (whilst completing a PhD). I learnt valuable lessons in prioritising tasks/time management and setting boundaries to maintain a healthy work life balance. Initially I tried to work 3 days at the clinic and 4 days on my PhD – not at all sustainable!”

Outside of work, Scott can be found climbing rocks at various crags across Victoria.

 

Vlad Litvinenko

Packaging Continuous Improvement Manager

Vlad graduated with a Bachelor of Biomedicine in 2015, majoring in Bioengineering Systems, then went on to complete the Master of Biomedical Engineering with Business in 2017. Vlad now works for Asahi Beverages, in one of the country’s oldest breweries where he has progressed through different roles within the supply chain.

“My first job was in Kazakhstan, as an apprentice mechanic over the summer University break. Here, I learnt the importance of trusting yourself and your knowledge, and how to apply theory to practice”.

Vlad’s first job out of university was as a service technician with General Electric (GE) Healthcare, looking after baby incubators, ultrasound and anaesthesia machines.

Outside of work, Vlad is an avid cyclist and captain of a mixed social netball team.

 

Mariana Lauretta

Research Assistant | Associate Genetic Counsellor | Speech Pathologist

Mariana Lauretta is a Bachelor of Biomedicine graduate (2017) and went on to complete a Master of Speech Pathology and Master of Genetic Counselling at the University of Melbourne. Mariana has previously worked in speech pathology private practice, before commencing as a clinician-researcher at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Combining her skills as a Speech Pathologist and Associate Genetic Counsellor, Mariana currently works in a research clinic that provides genetic testing for children with severe speech sound disorders.

Dr Vicky Chen

Doctor

Vicky completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine in 2015 and subsequently a Doctor of Medicine. Highlights of her undergraduate years include going on a semester exchange to University College London, undertaking fine arts breadth subjects at the VCA and participating in interdisciplinary clubs and societies. The Biomedicine degree gave her the freedom to consider a variety of career trajectories, all the while strengthening her interest in the health sciences. In the 3 years since finishing her medical degree, Vicky has been working as a junior doctor at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Women's Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Some of her favourite rotations include intensive care, cardiothoracic surgery, obstetrics & gynaecology and surgical oncology..

Naomi Sutanto

Publisher | Science Team Lead

Naomi completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine and then a Master of Engineering (Biomedical) at Melbourne. During her final year of study she was involved in running STEM workshops for primary and high school students. This led Naomi to explore careers in education, and she has spent the past six years working in the educational publishing industry. In her current role at Cambridge University Press & Assessment Naomi manages the publication of blended print and digital science resources for Years 7 to 12 teachers and students. Naomi is currently in her final year  the Master of Teaching at the University of Melbourne and looks forward starting teaching in 2024.

Charlotte Ramage

Executive Manager (Health and Government)

Charlotte holds a Bachelor of Biomedicine and a Master of Public Health from the University of Melbourne. She currently works as an Executive Manager in Quantium’s Health and Government practice and has over 10 years’ experience in government, health and social services settings. Passionate about supporting health and government systems to improve the lives of Australians, Charlotte is an expert in supporting organisations to make better use of data and has led data strategy projects for Commonwealth and Victorian departments and agencies. Prior to working at Quantium, Charlotte worked at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, developing national data standards and with the clinical team at Babylon health, a UK-based organisation dedicated to making high-quality healthcare accessible and affordable.

Dr Kelsey Turner

Anaesthetic Registrar

Kelsey began her career pathway with a Bachelor of Biomedicine (2014) and an honours year followed by the Doctor of Medicine. She is currently working as an Anaesthetic Registrar within the North Western branch of the Victorian Anaesthetic Training Scheme. Outside of work, Kelsey is currently studying for her part two examination - and training to complete a half marathon in netflix consumption!

Brendan Lacota

Social Impact Leader | Lawyer

Brendan completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine followed by a Juris Doctor at the University of Melbourne. With over a decade's experience in both the community and private sectors, Brendan is a leader in designing innovative ways to provide community services. He advises on the intersection of service design, technology, and governance. Brendan currently leads ANZ's flagship social impact programs throughout Australia, Pacific, Asia, and New Zealand as well as providing independent consulting services for not-for-profit and for-purpose entities.

Dr Hui-Fern Koay

Postdoctoral Fellow

Fern completed her PhD in 2017 in Professor Dale Godfrey's lab,  investigating the development and function of unconventional T cells, in particular, NKT and MAIT cells. She now works an ARC DECRA Fellow at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. By securing competitive funding, Fern has continued her research, extending upon innate-like T cell development, homeostasis, subsets and their functional diversity, with a view to harness these unconventional immune cells in a variety of disease settings and immunotherapies. She regularly presents at international and national conferences and is a visiting scholar to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Her work has been recognised by awards including the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Immunology 2020 Thermo Fisher Trainee Achievement Award and the 2022 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Fellowship. She is an early career leader who is passionate about communicating science through Day of Immunology and National Science Week roles.

Debby Purnama

Physiotherapist & Founder of Livewell Health

Debby completed a Doctor of Physiotherapy after doing a Bachelor of Biomedicine (Neuroscience) at Melbourne. After 8 years in private practice and community-based experiences, she gained a thorough understanding of pre- and post-operative rehabilitation, effective pain management and spinal rehabilitation. Debby founded Livewell Health and provides personalised health solutions to clients. Recently, she has been working closely with local badminton clubs and players to improve wellbeing and performance. Debby enjoys spending time with her family, catching up with friends over coffee, exploring new places, playing badminton, reading and painting - she says these are her 'ikigai'.

 
Boglarka Ropolyi

Biomedical Engineer, Eastern Health

After completing a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne in 2015, majoring in Bioengineering Systems, Boglarka enrolled in a Master of Engineering (Biomedical), which she completed in 2018. Boglarker has been working as a biomedical engineer for Eastern Health for the past two years. She is passionate about helping people and previously volunteered for many years, including two years for St Vincent de Paul. Being a biomedical engineer allows her to follow her passion, while using her own talents and skills.

Edwin Kwong

Research Fellow, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health;  Research Assistant, Burnet Institute

In 2016, Edwin graduated from the Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne. He completed the Master of Public Health at the University in 2019, with a primary focus on global health and non-communicable diseases. Edwin is currently a Research Fellow in the Child and Community Wellbeing Unit at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, and a Research Assistant at the Burnet Institute. He is also a consultant at the WHO/Europe NCD Office in Moscow, Russia, where he has previously completed an internship. Edwin is involved in the movement to decolonise global public health, and he is also interested in addressing the commercial and social determinants of health, in order to promote greater equity in public health, and not be a part of the reproduction of unjust power structures.

Read more about Edwin here

Jing Wu

Optometry

Jing completed her Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne in 2014 and then went on to study a Doctor of Optometry, graduating in 2018. Currently working as an optometrist at Specsavers in the Greater Geelong region, Jing has a keen interest in paediatric optometry, watching how patients grow and seeing improvements to their eye health over time. Jing works with patients as young as 1 to many in their 90s, helping them to achieve their best vision through glasses and contact lenses, looking after their eye health needs by treating and managing ocular pathologies, and co-managing with ophthalmologists and GPs. She further assists with a retail team of optical dispensers to help fit patients with best glasses for them. When she's not working, Jing enjoys running, spending time with her dog and watching footy.