A quick Q&A with Professor Kathy Andrews


Professor Kathy Andrews

Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD), Professor Kathy Andrews discusses her career, research tips and writing a children’s book.

1. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be so many things when I was growing up! An artist, an author and a scientist. In the end, I was able to mix some of these things together into one great job. Being a scientist is very creative and involves not only solving interesting questions but also communicating your findings to other scientists and the public.

2. Tell us about a previous job (work experience/volunteer work) that you’ve had.
My first job was wrapping presents at Christmas time in a department store!

3. Which 3 apps do you use the most on your mobile device?
iBooks (because I read constantly), Notes (to remind myself of things) and Twitter (still getting used to this one)

4. Which 5 celebrities would you invite to your ultimate dinner party?
That’s a hard one. If my daughter was involved, I would have to say five members of the Firebirds netball team!

5. Tell us about your favourite fictional character.
I don’t have particular favourites, but I am quite taken by the elven characters in Lord of the Rings.

6. What’s the best thing about your current role?
The best thing about my current role is the diversity of things that I am involved in. I work with fantastic staff and students on exciting research projects focused on developing new medicines for malaria, teach undergraduate students about infectious diseases and also talk to people in the community about how great science is.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope that in five years I will have developed a new type of antimalarial drug. Fingers crossed!

8. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career really is in seeing my amazing research students graduate and go on to do wonderful things with their lives and careers. Very rewarding!

9. You are involved in Griffith’s That’s Rad Science project. Tell us about that.
I have always been involved in science communication and in 2016 I decided to try something new that also combined my skills in project management and writing. I wanted to inspire as many children as possible by telling them about the amazing worlds of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). I started That’s RAD! Science with the vision of producing a series of 12 books authored by Queenslanders working in STEM areas. The aim is to distribute the books widely to primary school children and interest them in STEM from an early age. I am authoring the first book about parasites (think pet poo parasites, scratchy head lice, and malaria mini-vampire parasites!)

10. What wise advice do you have for new researchers?
Make sure you find something you are passionate about to work on!

11. What’s the best resource you’ve discovered in your Griffith University Library?
The best Griffith University Library resource has to be the ability access online journal articles. When I started as a scientist, I often had to order articles and wait several weeks for them to arrive by post!

12. Can you give us your 3 best research tips?
Take detailed notes, set aside time to think about your research project what it means, and think outside the box as you never know what you might find!



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