Jessie Lilford, Dr Liam St Pierre and Ellie de Jong in the QIMR Berghofer research laboratory.
Jessie Lilford, Dr Liam St Pierre and Ellie de Jong in the QIMR Berghofer research laboratory. Contributed

Students earn chance to learn about cancer research

TWO Toowoomba students have been selected for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with cancer researchers.

Glennie School seniors Ellie de Jong and Jessie Lilford were among the 146 applicants vying for 36 work experience places at leading medical research institute QIMR Berghofer.

The three-day laboratory work program offered training in the education lab, before placement in a work research lab.

Jessie said the first day was intense for the pair.

"On the first day, we were introduced to Dr Liam St Pierre a Molecular Biologist who came to QIMR Berghofer as a PhD student in 2002, with a research project identifying new therapeutic drug leads from the venom of Australia's deadliest snakes," she said.

"He guided us through basic laboratory skills, tours of the Institute including a viewing of the infectious diseases and mice testing laboratories."

Ellie said the entire experience was an eye-opener for the girls, and gave them a great idea of what they could look forward to.

"Dr Adrian Wiegmans (senior research officer) guided us through the process of finding protein in breast cancer tissues and we learned about tumour micro environments," she said.


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