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OP supports College students on Institute tour

A group of Parade College students, accompanied by Learning Area Leader – Science Janette Berglez, recently toured the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) of Medical Research in Parkville.

With the support of Matthew Witkowski (Parade 2007), the student group was afforded a rare opportunity to view the workings of the institute and interact with its researchers.

One of the students, Anthony Muleta, has penned a tour report and the Old Paradians’ Association is grateful to him and to Janette for their assistance.

The Association also acknowledges Matthew Witkowski for facilitating this unique experience for the students of Parade.

The following is Anthony’s report;

Nine other students, myself and Ms Janette Berglez were recently lucky enough to visit the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) of Medical Research in Parkville. We were shown around by Old Paradian Matthew Witkowski, who has recently completed his Ph.D. We learnt about his research in Leukaemia and Lymphoma and he showed us one of their highly advanced science laboratories.

Sitting on one bench were several gel electrophoresis machines and we observed a plate of cells affected by Leukaemia under a microscope. After this, we were introduced to Onisha Patel, who specialises in molecular biology and protein chemistry and has solved over 50 different protein structures!

I was allowed to try out a 3D molecular structure software, rotating and observing the chemical structure of a protein she recently solved. This was very interesting as it helped me better understand the biochemical concepts I have learnt this year in Biology and how they are applied to research and actual science.

One of my favourite parts of the day was listening to Matthew tell us about his experience in leaving Parade College and entering the field of science and medical research, as I hope to one day do the same.

I’d like to thank Ms Janette Berglez for organising this amazing opportunity for us and taking time out of her day to take us there, and Matthew and Onisha for so kindly welcoming us into their worlds for the day.

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