Research skills bridging university and industry collaboration

Meet: Jiamin Aw, Honours and PhD

Jiamin finished her PhD in 2018 and her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in 2013 at the University of Melbourne. Jiamin's Honours year and PhD were both completed at the Melbourne Dental School.

Jiamin (Honours and PhD, Melbourne Dental School)

Jiamin's Honours and PhD experience at the Melbourne Dental School

"For my undergraduate degree, I majored in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. I was always fascinated by the molecular machinery that operates in our bodies, and the practical lab classes I took really developed my appreciation for the impact biomedical science has. I decided to do an Honours year to gain more exposure to working in the lab, and that experience gave me the confidence to pursue a PhD."

"The highlight of my PhD was meeting like-minded people who are passionate about science and research. I had the amazing opportunity to attend local and international conferences, where I got to learn about the cutting-edge research that was being done in my research area. It was really rewarding to contribute to the scientific community, and the work involved in preparing a scientific publication helped me develop tenacity and resilience."

Jiamin's Honours and PhD research

PhD supervisor: Associate Professor Glen Scholz

"My research was related to looking at the immune response to the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis which cases gingivitis and chronic periodontitis. It was really interesting because I had the chance to look at the molecular mechanisms initiated from two different perspectives – the host response to infection and mechanisms P. gingivalis employ to avoid being detected by the immune response."

Jiamin's plan after her Honours and PhD

"My Honours and PhD experience have helped me develop a wide range of transferable skills which I currently put into practice as a Business Developer. My main role is to help facilitate university-industry collaborations. My studies have given me an insight into the value of research which I can now pitch to industry. My research background has been invaluable in assessing and developing research proposals with the various stakeholders I work with."

Jiamin's PhD advice

"Seize the opportunities that are presented to you and take part in activities that are outside your comfort zone."

Looking for an Honours or Masters Project for 2020?