Minette Salmon

Tjabal has been home to me. Here you have support, friends to talk to, and a great study space.

"I've always been a science nerd. I love science because I like to know 'why?'.

"I was in the military for seven years and after finishing training, I needed to study again and be learning something. I studied some biology subjects online and I became fascinated with genetics.

"When I left the military, I wanted to study biology but I was unsure; did I want to be a full-time student again? Could my brain cope with it? It was Anne Martin, the Director of the Tjabal Centre at ANU, who convinced me.

"Tjabal has been home to me. Here you have support, friends to talk to, and a great study space. It's helped me connect with my Indigenous heritage and taught me to accept myself for who I am - that's really cool.

"I'm working at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at ANU, with the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases. I'm using CRISPR, a new genetic engineering technology, and attempting something that's not been done before: to edit the red blood cell genome, infecting them with malaria parasites to investigate a gene found in mice that is resistant to malaria. This could help us figure out how to design a drug to target malaria in humans.

"When I finish my Masters, I plan to go on and do a PhD. I want to be a career researcher, so I can continue asking 'why?'!"