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Meet the Student: Harriet

Student News
Monday, September 28, 2015 - 1:30pm
Harriet Dashnow was recently awarded a highly competitive MCRI PhD Top-Up scholarship for her Bioinformatics work.

Harriet Dashnow

PhD student in the Bioinformatics group

A bit about my research
As a bioinformatician, I use computational skills and statistics to make sense of large biological data sets like the human genome. My research is focused on repetitive DNA sequences called microsatellites. These can wreak havoc in the human genome, causing everything from personality differences to Huntington's Disease and Fragile X syndrome. I'm working on detecting these genetic changes in genome sequencing data.

Why I chose to study at Murdoch Children's
I study at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute because that's where my amazing supervisor Alicia Oshlack is!  I also have a long history with the Institute. I did a summer internship with the Cell and Gene Therapy group when I was in first year of undergrad, and then worked part time as a technical assistant for them during my undergraduate years. As a Masters student, I came back to Murdoch Children's to join the Bioinformatics group. I discovered the beautifully bright new hospital. The aesthetics make it a lovely place to work.
Another thing that I have always loved about Murdoch Children's is their support women in science. The Institute has a great record of gender balance and flexible work arrangements. I work with an amazing group of women, who are dedicated to both their careers and their families.

Highlights of my time at Murdoch Children's so far
I've been lucky enough to share my work at some great conferences like Lorne Genome, the Australian Bioinformatics conference and the Australasian Genome Technologies Association conference. Last year I got to present my work in Boston and received the prize for best student talk!

Harriet was recently awarded one of the Institute's PhD Top Up scholarships, designed to reward outstanding PhD students to top-up their scholarship to help further support them during their studies.