Marguerite (Maggie) Evans-Galea
Scientist, Senior Research Officer, Team Leader
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
I had always been a curious child who loved animals and nature. My brother and I used to collect tadpoles from the local pond and watch them develop. I also relished (still do) Sir David Attenborough’s incredible documentaries, but really fell in love with ‘the molecular’ when I watched “Race for the Double Helix”.
But I had a double-love in science and music. I had considered being a music therapist, and this is initially why I did my double degree – B. Music and B. Science – but I was ultimately bitten by the science bug. After graduating, I went onto postgraduate studies in science and here I am.
What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
It is often the way that the coolest project is the one you are working on at the time. But I have finally found the ‘big picture’ topic I wish to pursue for the rest of my career. I am excited to be developing novel biomarkers and therapies for severely debilitating neurodegenerative disease. This work contains all of the most fascinating aspects of my scientific training – all meshed together!
Role models and heroes:
Role models/heroes in science: Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel, Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, David Attenborough, Peter Doherty, Brian Schmidt and my husband – all are ‘true’ scientists, minus the ego.
Other role models/heroes: Maya Angelou, Ludwig van Beethoven, the Dalai Lama, Carrie Fisher, Nick Vijucic and my Mum – all extraordinary individuals who overcame immense challenges in their lives.
Why do you loving working in STEM?
I love helping people. Severely debilitating disease can rob an individual of their independence, their quality of life and sometimes even their dignity and hope. People whose lives are touch by serious disease never fail to inspire. Whether across the table or across borders – they are incredibly strong; always supporting each other, their families and themselves.
Scientific research is a lifeline. It is a glimmer on the horizon – an opportunity to restore belief in the impossible. Adding to our knowledge about a disease and exploring potential treatments that could go from bench-to-beside, makes me feel like I am doing something very ‘real’ and useful every single day. After all, the medicines prescribed by our doctors every day were first developed in the laboratory. It is extremely rewarding!
Advice for future STEMinists?
Do what you love to do. Recognise your talents, broaden your scope and look beyond what you see. Science is just one word that encompasses a universe of questions, knowledge, expertise, opportunities and professions! Dream big and go for it!
Favorite website or app:
Twitter – great online networking tool.