By Ben Skuse
Precision medicine and bionics could be your best route to a career helping the world live happier, healthier lives.
Cutting-edge science is opening up a new era in medicine, where preventing, diagnosing and treating health problems is based on a person’s unique DNA.
Whether your interest lies in sport, biology, data or gadgets, you can contribute to the precision medicine revolution.
“Precision medicine will completely transform the way we deliver healthcare,” says Professor David James from the University of Sydney. His team looks at how diseases like type 2 diabetes take hold.
By finding which genes, cell processes and hormones are important for these diseases in different people, he hopes to be able to delay or even prevent disease from occurring.
“Science is all about finding out who we are, where we came from and where we are going,” he says.
Associate Professor Elizabeth Williams, director of research at Queensland University of Technology, also works in precision medicine. Her focus is on cancer.
“I was inspired to work towards preventing the spread of cancer after the death of my PhD supervisor,” she says.
By looking at people’s genomes – all the information encoded in a person’s DNA – Elizabeth has made important insights into prostate and bladder cancer.
“I have always focused on trying to understand how cancer spreads,” she says. She hopes to one day help manage and prevent these types of cancer.
Bionics re-inventing reality
But it’s not all about prevention. Bionics experts are making cyborg tech a reality, building electronic devices and mechanical parts to replace missing limbs or senses.
“I believe bionic tech can have a vital impact on people with disabilities,” says Dr Jeanette Pritchard, who managed the Monash Vision Group at Monash University where a ‘direct-to-brain’ bionic eye called the Gennaris bionic vision system was designed.
“It will be implanted into the brain of people with currently incurable blindness, to provide a sense of vision,” she says.
Jeanette is now the Executive Officer at the Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation, pursuing excellence in the clinical and scientific practise of ear, nose, throat, head and neck conditions – and furthering her passion for helping people.
Learning how to help people live happier healthier lives is a career choice you’ll never regret. You’ll be part of a revolution where putting health in the hands of patients will have a dramatic impact on present and future generations.
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Check out some work and study options…
Biomedical Engineer *$62,197
Graduate DIPLOMA of…
Mental Health Science, University of Melbourne
Biomolecular Engineering, University of Sydney
Biotechnology (Biomedical), University of Adelaide
Biomedical Science, Queensland University of Technology
Medical Science, University of Melbourne
Engineering (Hons) (Biomedical), Swinburne University
Author: Ben Skuse
Ben Skuse is a UK-based former mathematician turned professional science writer, who has written for the Careers with STEM magazines for over 5 years. You can follow him on Twitter @BenSkuseSciComm.