The Scientist and the… is a podcast brought to you by the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute.

In each episode of this podcast, you will hear from a different researcher about their field. Listen to how they got into science, and what they get up to after a long week of trying to solve our biggest health issues. 

Listen to the trailer now, or subscribe to The Scientist and the… wherever you get your podcasts!

Episode 1: The Scientist and the Artist

Rachelle Balez is a PhD Candidate under Associate Professor Lezanne Ooi. 

She’s also an incredible artist, and uses her creative ability to fund and fuel her research into stem cells, to understand Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Episode 2: The Scientist and the Gardener

Dr. Nicholas Geraghty is a post-doctoral research fellow at IHMRI, studying neuroscience. When he isn’t analysing protein aggregations to find better treatments for motor neuron disease, you can find Nick in his garden growing veggies and succulents.

Episode 3: The Scientist and the Cheerleader

Ashleigh Hope is an Honours student at IHMRI under Dr. Kara Vine-Perrow. She has a degree in Medical Biotechnology and is currently researching a rare type of breast cancer. Outside of the lab, she is on the court cheering on Wollongong’s NBL team as part of the Illawarra Hawks Dancers.


Episode 4: The Scientist and the Sensei 

Sam Adhikary spends most of his time in the IHMRI labs studying graft versus host disease – a fatal side effect of bone marrow transplantation. When he isn’t in the lab, Sam is usually writing his thesis, or teaching undergraduate biology at the University of Wollongong. Outside of his life as a scientist, Sam has spent a lot of his time practicing shotokan karate. 

How does the patience and discipline of becoming a black belt in karate translate into the lab?


Episode 5: The Scientist and the Rock Climber

Dr. Samantha Wade is a post-doctoral research fellow at IHMRI, researching better ways to administer cancer treatment. 

Through funding from PanCare Australia administered by Cancer Australia, as well as community support from the Illawarra Cancer Carers, Dr. Wade has created an implantable device which could change the way pancreatic cancer is treated in the future. 

Outside of the lab, Sam is a keen bush walker and rock climber. In this episode she tells us all about one climb in the Blue Mountains she will never forget. 


Episode 6: The Scientist and the Footy Player

Ilijana Babic is in the final stages of completing her PhD looking into the side effects of anti-psychotic drugs used in treating Schizophrenia. 

Outside of her research, Ilijana is a keen AFL player and can see the effect that determination, team work and perseverance has both in the lab and on the footy field. 

Episode 7: The Scientist and the Nurse

Kaara Calma is a PhD candidate at IHMRI, under Prof Liz Halcomb, Dr Sue McInnes and previously Dr Moira Stephens. She is researching the perceptions and preparedness of undergraduate nursing students to work in primary heath care.  

Outside of being a PhD candidate, Kaara is a teacher and member of the WHO Primary Health Care Young Leaders Network.