How to be a medical scientist
Medical scientists study the scientific basis of diseases and conditions with the goal of improving human health. Through research at the lab bench, we determine the causes of diseases and develop treatments or therapies to prevent or treat them.
Dr Julie Lim, Senior Lecturer in Physiology
"I graduated from the University of Auckland in 2004 having done a BSc, MSc and then PhD in Biological Sciences. After my PhD, I was offered a post-doctoral position in the laboratory of Professor Paul Donaldson. The goal of this research group was to delay the onset of cataracts and reduce the need for cataract surgery.
"I now lead my own research group supported by a number of different funding agencies. I am currently investigating the molecular mechanisms involved in the onset of a number of different age-related eye diseases that affect the different tissues of the eye, for which there is currently no preventive treatment. This work is important as with an increasing aging population, these age-related eye diseases will become more prevalent, resulting in longer hospital waiting times and a loss of independence and quality of life of the individual.
In pursuing an academic career at the University, I have had the opportunity to travel to international conferences and attend overseas workshops, enabling me to bring back new skills and apply them to my research.
"In pursuing an academic career at the University, I have had the opportunity to travel to international conferences and attend overseas workshops, enabling me to bring back new skills and apply them to my research. I have also been awarded a number of research fellowships including a Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship, a Kate Edger Charitable Trust Post-doctoral Fellowship and the Zonta Women in Science Award.
"I owe a large part of my success to the mentorship provided by academic staff who have been instrumental in providing me with teaching opportunities, career development advice and managing a work/family life balance, in particular Professor Paul Donaldson."