Mater Celebrates International Day of Women and Girls in STEM

Tuesday 11 February 2020

On 11 February we celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science to acknowledge the outstanding contribution that women make to STEM related fields and strive for equal access and participation to career opportunities.

Meet Mater Researcher Dr Kavita Bisht who is a Research Officer in the Stem Cell Biology Research Group at Mater Research and Honorary fellow at the School of Medicine, University of Queensland.

Kavita has a special interest in anaemia through infection with an aim is to identify key molecular signatures of anaemia infection to help persistent sufferers.

“Our blood is vital in the transportation of oxygen around our body and removing waste and toxins. In anaemic patients their blood loses the ability to transport oxygen to other tissues resulting in side effects including prolonged fatigue, shortness of breath and paleness of skin,” she said.

“If untreated these patients are at risk of developing other chronic conditions for example infection, sepsis, organ failure and even cancer.”

Kavita is an early career researcher focused on delineating the mechanisms of infection-induced anaemia which is the second most common cause of anaemia after iron deficiency.

“I have developed the first preclinical model of infection induced anaemia and am now exploring the effect of infection induced anaemia on inflammation, one of the major contributing factors to developing anaemia,” she said.

“Findings from my research will unravel the core mechanisms of anaemia of infection which would help to design better drugs for anaemia.

“I was driven to pursue a career in science because I had a keen interest in immunology and molecular biology. Since joining Mater, I have made significant discoveries to improve Haematopoietic Stem Cell mobilisation.”

Dr Bisht is just one of many Mater Researchers who have contributed to the 2020 Women in Stem Prize which recognises the valuable contribution of Queensland women working in STEM careers.

To see all the applications and vote please visit: https://2020-queensland-women-in-stem-prize.thinkable.org/timeline   

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