Welcome to Lab Life

Welcome to Lab Life

Exploring MIA's Translational Research Group

The Charles Perkins Centre (CPC) straddles The University of Sydney Camperdown campus and the grounds of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. The building is all clean lines and glass. Automatic doors glide open to reveal an airy space with tiled floors, pods of tables and seats, and a reception desk. Gazing up, the interior looks futuristic with stairs spiralling in fluid lines to communal spaces tiled in soft grey. Three glass lifts ferry people from one floor to the next where floor-to-ceiling windows contain sprawling open-plan desk spaces with a view of Sydney's inner-west on one side and stark, white laboratories on the other. Take the lift to the sixth floor, turn to the left and follow the red wall, and you’ll find one of these open-plan desk spaces teeming with people.

Many of these people are from Melanoma Institute Australia.

The MIA bunch is a melting pot of experience and expertise. Students and professors coexist, sharing ideas and puzzling over results. Postdoctoral researchers bring their knowledge from far and wide, and research assistants keep experiments running and data flowing. Biobank staff mingle there too, collecting and curating samples for best use. There are clinicians-turned-researchers who are keenly aware of the human impact of their work. Then there are the lifelong researchers who bring to the table unrivalled lab expertise that steer entire projects. Some days you’ll find pathologists perched at the desk with the microscope, trading their day-to-day diagnostic skills for a keen research eye. You’ll often see MIA’s Co-Medical Directors traversing the floor, keeping abreast of each project and expertly guiding the team. On occasion, visiting dignitaries and colleagues from other labs pay a visit to CPC, trading ideas and information, pooling their resources and creating new collaborations.

The Charles Perkins Centre is just one of the labs that houses the MIA network. In each of those labs, a similar bustling, thriving team of people exist. These people, from different walks of life, of different ages, at different stages in their careers, have one thing in common. They all believe that zero deaths from melanoma is an achievable goal, and they are all willing to put in the effort, everyday, to make it happen in their lifetime.

Welcome to Lab Life, where we bring those everyday stories from the lab straight to you. We want you to get to know the people behind the research, to follow them into the lab and behind the bench to understand what it is they do, and why they do it.

Starting with CPC and making our way through the MIA network, you’ll Meet the Team and keep up with their lab work as the data rolls in. We’ll make sure you know what they’re talking about with our Basics series, where we will discuss the techniques, concepts and ideas that underpin the research the team is doing. We’ll take you through A Day With our researchers so you get a peek into the day-to-day activities (and some exceptional ones) of a melanoma researcher. And a series of Conference Diaries will keep you connected with the national and international research MIA is contributing to and learning.

Join us as we take off the white coats and decode the data in Lab Life, everyday stories from the lab.