Clare-1Clare Smith PhD, finished Year 12 at GYC in 2003. She was a student based on the Glenorchy Campus. She attained a Bachelor of Biotechnology with Honours at the University of Tasmania and completed her doctorate in 2012.

While visiting Hobart from her current home in the United States to receive the prestigious Foundation Graduate Award from the University of Tasmania, she visited the Hobart Campus.

As a PhD student at the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, Dr Smith discovered a promising new malaria treatment that is now undergoing drug trials in Sydney laboratories. She was offered employment in the US and moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, in 2013 to be a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of microbiologist Christopher Sassetti at the University of Massachusetts. She is currently working on finding treatments for tuberculosis.

Among the many accolades she has received, she was named the Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year 2013.

When Dr Smith visited GYC, she spoke with a large group of Biology, Chemistry and Life Science students who were enthralled by what she had to say. For the first time in Tasmania, pathogens, disease and immunology are being taught in the TASC Level 3 Biology curriculum.

What a wonderful opportunity to support our curriculum by having a first-hand GYC alumna scientist in the classroom discussing everything from “what makes some people sick and not others”, to the ethics surrounding and the need for animal experimentation, to life as a travelling scientist, to feeling passionate about always asking the next question.

Surely this is what science is all about – asking questions and creating hypotheses to discover the next piece of the puzzle!  Dr Smith’s enthusiasm was ‘infectious’ and the level of questioning by and understanding of the students was impressive.

REBECCA CLIFFORD, teacher, Hobart Campus

above: GYC alumna Clare Smith with GYC Biology teacher Rebecca Clifford
below: ‘Infectious’ visitor Dr Clare Smith in the midst of GYC science students