Dr Heidi Walkden is a research fellow and social media manager for the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research team at Griffith University. Heidi first joined the team as an Honours student in 2015 and completed her PhD with them last year in the field of neuroscience. Heidi now uses her advanced microscopy skills to analyse our spinal cord injury therapy in great detail.
1) What is you name and where you are you from?
My name is Dr Heidi Walkden and I am Australian.
2) What is your current role within the Spinal Injury Project?
I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the SIP team. I am a part of the histology group which involves processing and analysing tissue samples for the spinal cord injury repair project.
3) What outcomes are you hoping to achieve with your particular role?
Using high powered microscopes means that I have the opportunity to see things that have never been visualised before. I hope that doing this will help our team to identify and solve different pieces of our research puzzle with the goal of developing a therapy for injuries of the nervous system.
4) What does a day ‘on the job’ look like for you?
My days are always changing with something new happening every week. When I’m in the laboratory I will usually process tissue samples and take them to the microscope for detailed analysis. I am also the social media manager for our team so I am often seen with a camera in my hands! I take a lot of photos and videos to promote our team members the amazing work that they are doing.
5) What keeps you inspired with your work?
I am continually inspired by the people I meet throughout this journey. Learning about their lives and experiences, particularly those with spinal cord injuries, makes me grateful for the things that I have. Feeling the sand beneath my feet at the beach always reminds me of those who can’t, thus it is wonderful to be a part of a team that is working towards a treatment for spinal cord injuries.
6) What are you most excited about working on the Spinal Injury Project?
I joined the SIP research team in 2015 as an Honours student and stayed with the team for my PhD (which I completed last year). It is wonderful to see the remarkable progress that we have made in this time and I’m excited to be able to continue working with the team to advance the research even further.
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