Now offering three new majors, UON’s Bachelor of Biomedical Science leads to more career options than ever before.

You could find yourself in a lab, conducting research that saves lives from cancer. You could follow a path into journalism, sharing the latest scientific research breakthroughs with the world. Or you could use biomedical science as a launching pad into medicine.

Three UON graduates share which career path they chose and why.

Advanced medical research

Jessica Buck’s ground-breaking cancer research is contributing to global health advancement.

Jessica’s interest in medicine and disease started in childhood, when a relative passed away from breast cancer. Jessica yearned to create vaccines to prevent diseases and save lives, which is why she enrolled in biomedical science at UON.

After graduating from UON, Jessica competed her Masters of Science in Neuroscience and is now completing her Doctor of Philosophy in Oncology at Oxford University in England – one of the most prestigious tertiary institutions in the world. Her studies explore new ways of imaging the formation of new blood vessels when cancer spreads to the brain.

“What I enjoy most about my work is getting together with my lab colleagues to plan breakthrough research that could really make a difference,” says Jessica.

Jessica credits her UON biomedical degree for giving her valuable research skills, hands-on lab experience, and the chance to discover a career path that best suits her skills and interests. When she looks back on her journey so far, Jessica recognises that her willingness to take up new opportunities was pertinent to her success.

“I encourage current biomedical science students to take advantage of all the opportunities to try research or internships. It will help you decide what you want to do when you finish.”


Industry, commerce, and education

Cassandra Griffin uses her science acumen to communicate new research results to industry leaders and the global community.

After studying biomedical science at UON, Cassandra’s career took her overseas and into the role of Account Executive for Pollen UK, a medical education company that forms part of a larger medical communications group.

In her diverse account management role, Cassandra must stay abreast of the latest disease research data and developments, working with clients to communicate science progress to industry leaders and the public so that new information can ultimately inform policies and practice.

“No two days are the same in my job,” Cassandra says.

“In the space of a few hours I may write content relating to a neurology drug, review a web page targeting HIV specialists, and develop graphics for a diabetes congress.”

Cassandra draws on her extensive knowledge of biomedical science every day. Her UON degree has equipped her to work as an expert in her field, facilitating the sharing of knowledge and researching the latest disease information and breakthroughs.

“While I no longer work in a laboratory environment, my understanding of laboratory procedures and scientific methods underpins my ability to translate scientific findings into a language that can be received by our audiences.”


Medicine and health practice

Mitchell Nolan used his biomedical science degree as a pathway into medicine. He now works as an intensive care trainee at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney.

When Mitchell enrolled in UON’s Bachelor of Biomedical Science, he never thought his career path would eventually lead to medicine. Originally interested in pure science, Mitchell slowly began to discover and become fascinated with the way science and medicine intertwined.

“I became enthralled with the clinical science introduced to us at UON,” says Mitchell. “I met with clinician-scientists and it slowly dawned on me that medicine was a legitimate career choice for me.”

After graduating from UON, Mitchell studied a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the Australian National University’s Medical School. There, Mitchell realised his firmly-established knowledge about the human body and scientific processes was a unique asset.

“UON’s teaching of conceptual biomedical science frameworks – the machinations of the life-sciences and the philosophy of science in general – provided an excellent advantage in my medical degree.”

Mitchell is now completing a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine from James Cook University while working as an intensive care trainee at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney.

“We manage critically ill patients, perioperative patients, and patients with organ failure. Things often go wrong, and we are experts at making it right again.”

After many years of study, Mitchell is on the cusp of an exciting career within the fast-paced world of medicine. His interest now lies in the public health aspects of critical care, specifically related to drug health and toxicology. Driven by a desire to help others, he expects to obtain a fellowship to the College of Intensive Care Medicine in the coming years and become a consultant intensivist.

“It’s an immense privilege to be involved in the most upsetting and traumatic moments of people’s lives because, sometimes, you have the opportunity to change things for the better.”