Chemistry student has formula for success

25 Jun 2013

Emily Furlong of Manly West will be working alongside some of Queensland’s best scientists on antibiotic-resistance projects.

In her third year of an Advanced Study Program in Science (ASPinS) at The University of Queensland, Emily joined UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) in March after receiving a UQ Undergraduate Research Scholarship.

As part of her training, Emily spends eight hours a week until June 30, working in IMB’s Professor Matt Cooper’s lab.

Professor Cooper’s lab team is working to discover drugs and diagnostics for superbugs, viruses and cancer.

Working alongside her mentor and fellow Cooper lab member, Dr Tanya Bradford, Emily is involved in a number of antibiotic resistance projects, and will return to IMB next semester to conduct her own project as part of the team.

Emily said the opportunity to learn hands-on research skills at IMB had been invaluable to her studies.

“Working alongside Tanya, who I first met at a UQ ASPinS conference and the Cooper lab has been such a great and enjoyable experience,” Emily said.

“Doing chemistry in a lab is very different to reading it in a textbook and I’ve learnt so many new skills that I couldn’t have learnt in a classroom.

“I love being able to make things in the lab and being the first to make compounds – it’s exciting to put what I’ve learnt into practice and know it can make a difference.”

In June this year, Emily was awarded UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience’s 2012 Maude Walker Prize.

The prize is bestowed to the most proficient second-year student in UQ’s Bachelor of Science program.

In May, Emily was also awarded the school’s 2012 Australian Laboratory Services Prize in Analytical Chemistry for achieving the best results in a second-year experimental chemistry course.

She also received the Biochemistry Alumni Prize #1 for achieving the highest mark in a second-year biochemistry and molecular biology course.

Next year Emily plans to do her honours at IMB and undertake her PhD.

Dr Tanya Bradford congratulated Emily on her recent prize win.

“Emily is one of the hardest working undergraduate students I know and she brings a real enthusiasm for science and plenty of fresh ideas to the lab,” Dr Bradford said.

“Our students make an important contribution to IMB’s work and achievements and we’re committed to doing what we can to help each of our students, including Emily, reach their scientific potential.”

Make a difference today by donating to IMB’s student program at or call (07) 3346 2132.


Media: Gemma Ward, Acting IMB Communications Officer on 0439 651 107 or (07) 3346 2155