the scientists

Sarah Ng pdf

PhD student, School of Chemistry, University of Tasmania

Sarah Ng

Have you ever wanted to blow something up in your garden? Have you ever try to mixed thing to make beautiful colours? Have you baked a delicious cake? And do you know what all these have to do with Chemistry?

When I was a little girl, I used to love baking and cooking with my mum. I never used to realise that everything in cooking has to do with science, for example, heating, mixing, rising, cooling etc, every step has chemistry behind it. From then on, I was interested in science.

So I studied a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Chemistry at university. Subjects which I did as part of my Chemistry major were Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, and Biosynthesis and Natural Product Chemistry. Each of these subjects can have a very wide range of applications in normal everyday life - and make our life so fascinating.

After studying all these interesting Chemistry units, I had to choose just one area for my Honours degree, which has been carried on to my PhD research – and that was Organic Chemistry. My project’s aim is to create a method to generate a large variety of compounds which may have anti-cancer or anti-bacterial properties. These compounds are often found in marine organisms such as tunicates and sea sponges but can usually only be obtained a very small amount from these organisms. Hence, if they can be produced in the lab using chemicals, then they will be useful in larger amounts for biological testing in order to produce new medicines in the future.

I am hoping to finish my PhD in the next six months, and move on to working for a pharmaceutical company doing research work. Most importantly, I am hoping, one day, I can generate a method which can make these compounds into useful medicines to save lives.

Finally, what do I love about science?! Well, science can be so fascinating, and it changes all the time. Our world is all about science, from our body to the sky – it really is all about science.