Taylah Gaynor, mentee in the 2020-21 program (La Trobe University)

In 2017, Taylah graduated from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Microbiology and Genetics. With a keen interest in parasitology, she commenced an Honours year in 2018 working on malaria where she produced high-quality data incorporated into a manuscript that is currently in preparation. Moreover, she also assisted in the development of new laboratory protocols still utilised to this day. During her Honours year, Taylah also participated in La Trobe University’s 3-Minute Thesis Competition and was awarded a Special Recognition Award.

Once graduated, Taylah attended an information night at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and, by chance, met her future supervisor where they both discussed their passions for flow cytometry and imaging techniques. She then changed fields entirely, being awarded a joint La Trobe University/Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute Doctoral Research Scholarship, commencing a PhD in the Cardiac Cellular Systems Laboratory at the Baker in 2019 where she is now just over a year into her project.

Taylah’s project focusses on understanding the impact of adipocytes (fat cells) on cardiovascular tissues in a healthy context and investigating how this changes in disease. She utilises novel technologies including single cell and single nuclei RNA-sequencing and employs confocal microscopy to produce beautiful immunofluorescence images. Furthermore, at the beginning of 2020, Taylah was awarded a Defence Science Institute RhD Student Grant for her project to support her throughout her PhD.

Alongside her PhD, Taylah has also gained experience working as a casual Animal Care Attendant with AMREP Animal Services at the Baker, moreover, she has recently begun working as a Teaching Associate with Monash University which she is very passionate about. In her spare time, Taylah enjoys snowboarding and water sports, keeping her busy all seasons of the year, along with camping, music, gardening and baking!

You can find Taylah on: