Allanna Russell
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Allanna Russell

Honours Student (Stroke Research)

School of Medicine, University of Tasmania

What do you do when you have a headache? I usually take a Panadol!

What if you fall over and scrape your knee? I might put some antiseptic on the scrape, and probably a band-aid.

But how do we know these things work? That’s where I come in!

I’m a medical researcher, and it’s my job to find what helps heal people. It’s very important work for many reasons. Without medical research, we wouldn’t understand how our bodies work, which drugs help us get better, or which ones might make us sick. Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists all know how to help you get better because of hundreds of years of medical research.

My research this year focuses on strokes. A stroke is we call it when a blood clot gets stuck in your brain, or when a blood vessel in your brain bursts. Strokes are incredibly dangerous. If someone has a stroke, they may die, or be left severely disabled, which is why it’s so important for us to try to find medicines that will help.

I didn’t wake up one day in high school, though, and think, “I’m going to work in a lab all day studying medicines!” I took a very long and twisted road through my studies to get here. My problem with deciding what I wanted to be was that I loved pretty much everything! I couldn’t decide on just one thing to study. In high school, I wanted to be an artist, then a psychologist, and then in college I wanted to be a mathematician. At university, I tried an engineering degree. After deciding that it just didn’t suit me, I changed to studying zoology (the study of animals) and graduated with a degree in science. Now I’ve changed again! My current work in medical research combines my degree in science with my love of medicine and animals!


Find me on Twitter: @TheXerkat

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