Yvonne Ogaji, mentee in the 2020-21 program in VIC (La Trobe University).

My university journey began in Malaysia studying a BSc in Biotechnology (Major: Biochemistry) on a transfer degree program and completed in Australia. After that, I got a scholarship to do an MSc in Biotechnology and Protein Science in Finland (University of Oulu) and I carried out my MSc thesis on Colon Cancer Genetics in Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne. Then, I got a job as a Clinical scientist in Genetic Technologies LTD in Melbourne where I worked for 2.5 years before leaving to AgriBio (Center for AgriBiosciences) to work as a Research Scientist for the Victorian Government (DJPR) for almost 3 years. There, I secured a scholarship to carry out a Ph.D. in Applied Biosystems (Agricultural Genetics).

My Ph.D. project is focused on understanding genetic diversity in plant pathogenic fungi, and the development of diagnostic tools for identification. I am also looking at plant-pathogen interactions, genes responsible for disease pathogenesis cycle in the pathogen, and resistance genes in the plants which can be implemented in breeding programs for resistant cultivar development. I am passionate about the use of acquired knowledge to find solutions that will help create a better world to live in, which fuels my passionate for scientific research. I am in search of tools that will make life better, finding solutions to problems and developing vehicles that apply these solutions practically and ease burdens. Our world needs solutions and I want to be part of the solution.