UQ Early Career Researcher Symposium (Life Sciences)

Tue 17 May 2022 9:30amWed 18 May 2022 4:30pm

The UQ Early Career Researcher Symposium (Life Sciences) is an opportunity to share your research with talks and poster sessions with your life sciences colleagues from across UQ.

This two-day symposium will be held at the Brisbane Convention Centre on 17 and 18 May 2022.

Research Topics

  • Healthy Living
  • Disease and Underlying Biology
  • Emerging Life Sciences Technology
  • Genetics and Genomics


17 May: Dr Kirsty Short, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences

18 May: Dr David Klyne, Research Fellow, School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences

Career Sessions

Communication skills to keep your audience riveted

17 May, 12pm - 1:30 pm

Dr Ken Dutton-Regester, Founder and Director of Excite Science
Ken is an active cancer researcher at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. After completing his PhD at the Queensland University of Technology in 2012, Ken was awarded a NHMRC Early Career Fellowship to learn genome-wide functional approaches at the Broad Institute of Harvard MIT and Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Ken is an AMP Tomorrow Fund fellow (2018) and a Young Investigator on a Melanoma Research Alliance Team Science Award (2018-2021).

Productivity, well-being and work-life balance

17 May, 2:30pm - 4pm

Petris Lapis, Director, Master Results Coach, Master Performance Consultant and Mindfulness Practitioner< Artisan of Change.
Petris holds Commerce and Law degrees from the University of Queensland and a Master Of Laws from the Queensland University of Technology. She has consulted to the corporate, government and not for profit sectors and has been an accredited Senior Mindfulness Trainer with the Potential Project. She has nearly 25 years experience as a conference and workshop presenter. She has been a committee member of a number of professional bodies and contributed to their education programmes as a presenter, author and advisor. She has published a number of books and hundreds of papers. Her passion, enthusiasm and humour are loved by audiences internationally.

Effective Leadership Practices

18 May, 9am - 10:30am

Dr Richard O'Quinn, Lecturer in Management & Leadership, School of Business, The University of Queensland.
Richard teaches courses on leadership, strategic decision-making, and strategic human resource management in the graduate, MBA, Executive Education, and online education programs at The Business School, University of Queensland. Richard's research interests include leadership, strategic decision-making, and organizational studies using practice and process perspectives. His interest in these fields stems from his previous 23-year career as a commissioned officer in the US Army Special Operations Forces. Richard routinely consults and coaches a number of leaders and organizations in leadership, strategy, and organization improvement.

Breakfast Event – Harnessing Diversity in Science

18 May, 7:15am for 7:30am start.

Dr Sonia Shah
Sonia is a National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience. Her research focuses on using genomic data to improve understanding, prevention and treatment of heart disease. Though born and brought up in Kenya, Sonia is of Indian ancestry. She is the recipient of the 2020 Genetic Society of Australasia award, 2020 QLD Women in Technology award, and is a Science and Technology Australia Superstar of STEM.
The importance of diversity in health and genomic research
The majority of health and genomic research has been conducted in individuals of European ancestry, and may not always translate as well into culturally and linguistically diverse populations. If we are to ensure equitable translation of health and genomic research, especially in places like Australia where we have an increasingly multicultural society, we need to increase diversity in health and genomic research.

Dr Loic Yengo
Dr Loic Yengo is a statistical geneticist and group leader of the Statistical Genomics Laboratory (SG2). Yengo joined the University of Queensland in 2016 with a research background in applied mathematics, statistics, and molecular epidemiology. His current research focuses on understanding the genetic and phenotypic consequences of non-random mating (inbreeding and assortative mating) in human populations, and on developing analytical methods for multi-ancestry genome-wide association studies (GWAS).
Why do we need to sequence more genomes from Africa to advance personalised medicine for all humans?
Peoples from Africa have the most genetically diverse individuals on Earth. Therefore, including more genomes from Africa in current genetic studies has enormous the potential accelerate the discovery of genes underlying susceptibility to common diseases.

Dr Jenny Setchell
Dr Setchell is Senior Research Fellow, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland. Their research interests include using sociological and philosophical theories to enhance healthcare equity. Dr Setchell has received numerous grants and awards, including an NHMRC Fellowship. In 2014, they co-founded the Critical Physiotherapy Network, an international network of physiotherapists now across 30+ countries working toward more socio-politically conscious healthcare. Dr Setchell has also been an acrobat and a human rights worker.
Diversity? Inclusion? Systemic change? - buzz words and how they hinder/help
Words matter less than action, but they still matter. I will unpack some of the key terminology used in ‘diversity and inclusion’ discussions in order to support delegates to appreciate both the benefits and possible pitfalls of the concepts underpinning them.

Dr Simone Blomberg
Dr Simone Blomberg has a BSc (Hons) in zoology from Monash, a PhD in ecology from U. Sydney and a Masters in Applied Statistics from the ANU. She has worked all over the place, including as a casual academic at UQ and the University of Aberdeen, and a postdoctoral researcher at University of Wisconsin, Madison and University of California, Riverside. She began her current position in 2007 at the UQ School of Biological Sciences, where she is a T & R academic and statistical consultant. In her spare (!) time she plays jazz saxophone for fun. She is married with 2 children and is of transgender experience.
Passing as a man and/or a woman in academia
Simone will talk a little about my life, her struggle with gender issues, the influence it has had on her career, and how being "out" can help others along their own journey.

Dr Bryan Mukandi
Dr Bryan Mukandi is a philosopher and health researcher. He has a medical degree from the University of Zimbabwe, postgraduate degrees in the humanities and social sciences, and a PhD in C20th French and African philosophy. His main focus currently is on his project, ‘Seeing the Black Child’.
Thinking what cannot be thought… or, if we were serious
I want to argue against ‘diversity’ as a paradigm or approach. It presupposes too much and grants the status quo unwarranted sanction. Instead, academic communities that are serious about inquiry and about serving the society that funds them, ought to cultivate alterity, dissonance and rupture. The alternative is a an epistemic and ethical cul-de-sac.

Registration details

    Registration and abstract submission closes on 25 March 2022.

    More than $2000 in prizes for poster and oral presentations!