On the last week of term 3, the three of us had the privilege to participate in GTAC’s Science Immersion Research Experience program. We participated in two research projects in collaboration with PhD students/scientist mentors from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Maria and Andrea.

Our research done in SIRE aimed to enhance our understanding of vascular biology and angiogenesis (the development of new blood and lymph vessels) to open up new approaches for the drug treatment of cancer and tumours for people around the world.

Andrea’s experiment involved using CRISPR-affected zebrafish in order to edit their genetic makeup to see if the absence of a specific gene impacted the proteins involved in angiogenesis.

Maria’s experiment was testing zebrafish with various drugs to discover the effects of the drugs on the vasculature (blood and lymph vessels) development.

Throughout the week, we had the opportunity to work hands-on in a lab environment and utilise equipment and technology that we would not have been able to access otherwise at school, such as a gel electrophoresis machine, centrifuge, PCR machine, fluorescent microscope etc.


This was an extremely valuable, rewarding, educating, and most of all fun experience. We are grateful to have been a part of cancer research that could end up saving lives. GTAC’s SIRE program is definitely worth applying for, especially for those considering STEM as a potential career path or even if you just have a general interest in science!

So, for year 9s this year, it would be great to consider doing your work experience at GTAC next year! For more information, head to this website: https://gtac.edu.au/sire/


Article Written by:  Sally Li (10C), Vanessa Pham (10F) and Kelly Lam (10C)


Ms Angela Hanley – Science LAC