PhD Interview: Sidra Waheed
Sep 12 2019
To celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11, ACES Swinburne University of Technology PhD candidate Lilith Caballero Aguilar was invited by the Mexican Network for Science, Technology and Gender (MEXCITEG) to talk briefly about her career in science.
The event was in collaboration with the Autonomous University of Yucatan’s (UADY) Department of Basic Sciences and Faculty of Engineering. Lilith, who is originally from Chetumal, Mexico and studied in Merida, Mexico, is now researching 3D printing of drug delivery systems at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne’s BioFab3D facility.
Lilith was also awarded the 2018 Research Endowment Fund (REF) Grant last year for her project, ‘Fabrication of a chondrogenic hydrogel for in situ 3D bioprinting’, which you can read more about here.
As Lilith is currently in Australia and couldn’t be present in Mexico to give her talk, she submitted it via video, spoken in Spanish. The full video of her talk with MEXCITEG is below, followed by a transcript in English.
What’s your background?
Hi, my name is Lilith Caballero Aguilar. I am a former student of the faculty of engineering. After finishing my degree in physics engineering, I did my master’s in biomedical engineering. Currently, I am undertaking my PhD studies at Swinburne University in Melbourne.
What’s your PhD about?
My PhD project involves the use of biomaterials, stems cells and 3D printing to deliver molecules able to regenerate tissue, specifically cartilage. This project is one of the many projects that take place at BioFab3D. This laboratory is located across a hospital and the research team for this project is formed by biologists, chemists, biomedical engineers, physicists and surgeons.
What has been one of the challenges you faced during your career?
One of the most challenging parts of my career was probably during my master’s degree because the work load was very intense and I had to study very hard every day. However, all the effort is well worth it.
Any advice for people starting their career in science?
Advice I would give to people interested in physics, maths or any science is to place importance on every subject. When I was studying my undergrad, I thought some of the courses were not very relevant to what I wanted to do in the future but, surprisingly, those subjects were very relevant. So, I would recommend investing equal time in all your courses.
I would like to invite everyone to know more about the area of biomedical engineering and sciences in general. As I mentioned before, the kind of projects that we do here often involve people with different backgrounds, so whatever may be the scientific area of your interest, there is always ways of participating in a project. Finally, if you have any question or if you want to know more about the projects we do here, you are welcome to contact me.
For more on Lilith’s current PhD project, read our interview with her here.