Kathryn Palasis, mentee in the 2019 MedTech-Pharma program in SA (The University of Adelaide) (Image: Fresh Science)

Kathryn graduated from Bachelor of Science (Advanced) with a Double Major in Chemistry at the University of Adelaide in 2015. She then completed an Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science (First Class) at the University of Adelaide in 2016, from which she was awarded the Rennie Scholarship for Research in Chemistry and the Cedric Stanton Hicks Research Scholarship.

Kathryn is currently undertaking a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Adelaide, under the supervision of Professor Andrew Abell and Professor Robert McLaughlin. Her research takes an interdisciplinary focus in the field of Photopharmacology, incorporating her skills and knowledge in chemistry, biochemistry and optics. Photopharmacological research investigates the design and development of photoswitchable drugs, which can be switched between a biologically active ‘on’ state and an inactive ‘off’ state inside the body using light. This allows for local activation in the body and consequently reduces off-site toxicity effects (i.e. minimising side-effects for patients). Kathryn is a member of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) and Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS). Being involved in these organisations has helped Kathryn to develop her collaborative skills and has fostered the interdisciplinary nature of her project.

Kathryn was selected to participate in Fresh Science in 2017, where she was trained to speak to the media and communicate her science to the general public. She is passionate about encouraging young girls to pursue a career in STEM and has shown this through regular volunteering at outreach events such as Open Day, Career’s Night, Ingenuity and Children’s University.

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