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Meet our New Research Officer

With a PhD in biochemistry and an extensive background in medical research, analysing and communicating scientific research is something that GHHP’s new Research Officer, Kirsten McMahon, has an impressive amount of experience in.

She began honing her passion for scientific research with a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland where she graduated with First Class Honours in Microbiology. Having developed an interest in the niche of medical research, she went on to complete her PhD and post doctorate studies, where she dove deep into the world of animal venom, investigating how the venom of the potentially lethal cone snail can be used to treat chronic pain.

After making the move from Brisbane to Gladstone for her husband’s career in August last year, it was the unique opportunity to readily communicate meaningful research to the wider community, that piqued Kirsten’s interest in the role of Research Officer at GHHP and prompted her to apply.

“While the world of medical research is fascinating, there’s unfortunately a wide gap between discovery and public benefit, with the process often taking years to reach a point where it can be widely publicised or you can start to see some real-world impact,” Kirsten explains.

“Here at GHHP, we’re conducting new research and publicising the results each year, meaning the research that’s being done is applied in a much shorter time frame.”

“I’m excited that I’ll be able to combine my passion for data analysis and science communication in my role as Research Officer and help translate highly scientific data to the Gladstone community.”

As someone who grew up in Brisbane, Kirsten is loving the relaxed lifestyle that Gladstone offers her and her family and the warm welcome they’ve received from the community.

“It sounds silly, but I really appreciated how friendly everyone is and that people make the effort to say ‘hello’ to you as you walk down the street. I also love being just 5 minutes away from the beach – that’s a luxury we definitely never had in Brisbane.”


Favourite Harbour Activity: Taking a walk along our beautiful river and enjoying the great outdoors.

Favourite Sea Creature: Cone snails as I’ve spent many years studying them as part of my PhD research.

Favourite Food: I’d have to say cake as I really enjoy baking them.


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