IMB student in an Ivy League of her own

19 Apr 2006

Not many Australian students get to choose the top American Ivy League University at which they will study. But that is exactly what IMB graduate Katey Robinson has been able to do, having received offers from two of the prestigious institutions. 

Ms Robinson, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science with first class honours in December 2005, will begin her PhD at Harvard University in September. 

“It has a brilliant reputation and has a brilliant department and academics,” she said. 

Ms Robinson has also received a US$60,000 a year, for six years, Harvard scholarship to cover her living expenses, tuition fees and other costs. 

She initially received offers from both Harvard and Princeton universities. 

Her PhD will be in the area of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, looking at the early patterning of embryos. 

“The PhD will involve basic research with applications to stem cell techniques or tissue engineering,” she said. 

“Understanding how these embryos form can help you understand how you can regenerate them.” 

Ms Robinson became interested in this area of science while examining a gene, KLF12, in zebra fish development for her UQ honours thesis under the supervision of Associate Professor Andrew Perkins from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience. 

“We think this gene is involved in either the development of blood vessels or blood,” she said. 

Ms Robinson attended a welcome weekend at Harvard in March. 

“I had the chance to meet some of the academics and current students and took tours of the area,” she said. 

Media: For more information, contact Chris Saxby at UQ Communications (telephone 07 3365 2479, email