DCR Honours Student has fallen in love with hard work


Kate Chen, promising honours student in the DCR team, wins Concord Hospital Early Career Research Competition.

Kate Chen came from a small country town in Taiwan. Despite the expectation of her parents from Asia for her to become a doctor or lawyer, Kate had felt passionate about science since her childhood. When she migrated to Australia in 2007, due to financial circumstances, Kate spent a few years working as a dental technician before she was able to return to school to pursue her dream as a scientist. Kate choose to do a Medical Science at the University of Sydney.

In her 3rd year of her degree, Derek was invited as a guest lecturer at one of the immunology unit course lectures. She was impressed by their research into Dendritic cells and their potential application in current cancer therapy. Inspired by his speech, Kate decided to continue her degree by spending her Honours year with the Dendritic Cell Research (DCR) team at the ANZAC Institute at Concord Hospital.

Kate pursued the topic of “Characterisation of a Novel Human CD83 Knock-in Mouse Strain to Examine Immunosuppressive Therapeutic Antibodies Targeting Human CD83” under the supervision of Dr Pablo Silveira and Professor Derek Hart. The project involves comprehensive investigation and evaluation of a novel genetically engineered mice, and using this model to assess a new anti-CD83 antibody 3C12C targeting dendritic cells. By using this mice model, the team would be able to explain the mechanism involved in immune suppression mediated by CD83 expression cells, and hopefully gain a better understanding and insight into the fundamental biologic and immunological differences between human and mice.

Kate was recently given an opportunity to present her research project at the 2015 Concord Hospital Early Career Research Competition. Kate was surprised and pleased to receive first prize under the student category.  Kate stated that “Being awarded this prize was a great honour and encourages me to continue to pursue my dream in science. During my speech preparation, I gained a considerable amount of valuable insight as well as a full support from my supervisor. It was a privilege to work with Prof Derek Hart, Associated Prof Georgina Clark and all the staff members from DCR at ANZAC Institute”.

In the words of Steve Pavlina “If you want to achieve some really big and interesting goals, you have to learn to fall in love with hard work.”



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