Melinda is a Research Assistant working with Professor Nick Spencer in the FHMRI Visceral Neurophysiology Lab. She has worked with Nick since he was recruited by Flinders and obtained two NHMRC grants in 2009. Based in Flinders Medical Centre, the group currently has one ARC and two NHMRC projects in progress.
What is your professional background? I started at Flinders when I was 19! I undertook a State Government traineeship which placed me in the laboratory of Professor Paddy Phillips. His research assistant, Hilde DeSmet, taught me everything she knew and when funding ran out, she encouraged me to pursue an opportunity with Professor Simon Brookes and Professor Marcello Costa. That was my first exposure to gastrointestinal work. I worked in the Neurogastroenterology lab for eight years before starting with Nick Spencer (who still closely collaborates with Simon and Marcello) in the Visceral Neurophysiology Lab.
What led you to a professional research staff career? I was incredibly lucky to be given opportunities to learn and establish skill sets ‘on the job’. I was inspired by the commitment and passion those around me showed for research and development and wanted to be a part of it.
What piece of advice would you give to aspiring professional research staff? Don’t be afraid to voice your ideas! Sometimes you see things from a different perspective that can benefit the project.
What is something about yourself others may not know? I once auditioned for the role of Lucy Robinson in Neighbours.
What do you value most about working at Flinders? There is a culture here of constantly striving for improvement and change. It’s very refreshing and definitely keeps me on my toes!
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without? I couldn’t live without coffee, wine or cats. They are all essential.