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Meet our brilliant minds: Dr Amanda Gwee

Dr Amanda Gwee is a Clinician-Scientist Fellow and Team Leader in the MCRI Infectious Diseases Group. Her research focuses on optimising the dosing of anti-infective agents in children - an area of increasing importance in the current era of emerging antimicrobial resistance.

Tell us about your journey in getting to where you are today as a researcher here at MCRI?
I’m a general paediatrician, infectious diseases consultant and clinical pharmacologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital. I never thought I’d pursue a research career until my first research project in Malawi - then I got hooked. Since that first project, I’ve been addicted to research, antibiotic dosing research in particular, mainly because I see all the time in my clinical practice how much it could be improved. 

Tell us about your research and what you hoping to achieve through the work that you’re doing?
I study the way we use antibiotics in children and see if we can manipulate or change it to improve the way we treat infections, make it easier to give to patients, and also to overcome resistance.

What I would really like to do is set up a research group dedicated to improving the way we use antibiotics in children and that collaborates with other institutes in Australia, and internationally to streamline the pathway to take a drug dosing idea from concept to clinical trial in children. At the moment, most antibiotic dosing studies are in adults, and we don’t have a lot of data in kids.  

What is the highlight of your career?
I think honestly, it’s the fact that I’ve managed to work with people who are leaders in their field, and I feel really privileged that they want to work with me in this research space. It shows me that they too think that this is an important health issue and I’m learning a lot from these collaborations with every project we do. I think that’s my biggest achievement. 

What excites you about working in child health?
From an infectious disease point of view, the fact that you can have child who is really sick one-day and after appropriate treatment just bounces back so quickly is super rewarding. 

And finally, what do you like doing when you’re not working?
I’m obsessed with baking! Birthday cakes, especially novelty birthday cakes are my thing.