Inspired by microbiology

An elective Microbiology subject set Cassie Stanton on a different career path, and she has just graduated with her PhD in microbial genetics

Cassie Stanton originally chose to study a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Biosciences at La Trobe with the hope of becoming a veterinarian. However, an elective Microbiology subject set her on a different career path and Cassie has just graduated with a PhD in microbial genetics.

“I took a Microbiology subject during the first year of my undergraduate degree and became very interested in bacteriology and disease. Learning about these small but powerful organisms was so fascinating that I eventually decided to pursue research with an honours year.”

“After completing my honours year, I still had unanswered questions! So, I couldn’t pass up to the opportunity to pursue a PhD when I was offered a scholarship to continue the microbial genetics research I had started.”

Cassie’s research focuses on the important area of antibiotic resistance.

“With the rise of antibiotic resistance, there is a need for more options to combat drug resistant bacterial infections. One new approach is the use of naturally existing viruses that can rapidly kill the bacteria without harming human cells,” she says.

“My research involved investigating if bacteriophages, viruses that specifically target and kill bacteria, could be used as effective antibacterial agents.”

As she reflects on her time studying at La Trobe, Cassie notes that there were many highlights.

“The highlights of my PhD were getting to know many great researchers within the field, both at La Trobe and externally, and getting the opportunity to collaborate and produce journal articles.”

“It was also exciting to attend symposiums and conferences. This made me feel part of the field and not just a student,” she says.

Cassie hopes to continue her research and contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

“I would love to continue pursuing research and contribute to advancing human health by understanding microorganisms and how they function to create disease.”