Our next inspirational guest speaker is Dr Onisha Patel.
Dr Onisha Patel is a structural biologist at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI). She has over 15 years of experience in medical research where she uses cutting-edge imaging technologies to capture the inner beauty of the tiny molecules that make up life. These tiny molecules, called proteins, have a unique shape at the nanoscale. When proteins don’t function correctly, they can cause diseases. Onisha’s work uncovers the structure of proteins and contributes to a greater understanding of how they work. This knowledge helps scientists develop more targeted treatments for a range of serious diseases.
As a researcher, Onisha has made an impact. Her research has led to a drug in clinical trials for a type of bone marrow cancer and was recently granted a ‘fast track designation’ status by the US Food and Drug Administration. Her discovery on a novel type of immune cells led to the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research and development of reagents to detect these immune cells, now being distributed by the National Institute of Health. Onisha has published in high profile journals, secured competitive funding and fellowship and holds a patent. She is also an artist and uses art to illustrate her research and as a tool to communicate her love of science through exhibitions, collaborations with schools and public talks.  She recently delivered a successful pitch that lead to ‘Art of Science’ exhibition as a finalist for the City of Melbourne Awards (2019).
Onisha grew up in India and moved to Australia to pursue a career as a scientist. She was inspired to study in Australia by the story of Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CEO of India’s largest biopharmaceutical company Biocon. Now Onisha herself is a ‘Superstar of STEM’ at Science and Technology Australia, where she is a visible role model to smash society’s stereotypes and assumptions about women in STEM. Through her own journey as scientist and an artist, she wants inspire the next generation of young leaders. She believes interdisciplinarity is the future of workplaces.
Onisha’s talk is titled – ‘Opportunities through nonconformity’. She will reflect on her life experiences that has led her to this journey on breaking down stereotypes and looking beyond the obvious.   

Date: Wednesday 21 October 2020
Time: 6.30 PM to 7:30 PM (Melbourne time or AEDT)
Hope to see you there!!


Best regards

Mel McCarthy