I was born in Egypt to parents who were half-Italian and half-Greek, and I grew up fascinated by science. I attended university in Italy’s Tuscany region, where I also worked in a hospital for several years. But I grew restless with diagnostics and the lack of job opportunities in Italy, so I decided to change careers and country.
Eight years ago, I successfully applied for a scholarship from the Australian Government before joining Centenary. I’m part of Professor Warwick Britton and the University of Sydney’s Professor Jamie Triccas’ team. We’re working to develop a vaccine against tuberculosis; the world’s deadliest infectious disease.
Outside the laboratory, I’m a keen runner and have taken part in several fundraising running events for Centenary, including the 21km half-marathon at the Sydney Running Festival.
I am training for my first triathlon event, and I also enjoy scuba diving, rock climbing, reading, going to the theatre and speaking multiple languages. I’m fluent in Arabic, French, Italian and English, and I am currently learning Spanish.
While it’s important to remain curious in science, I also believe it’s crucial to have a plan. My key piece of advice to young scientists is to find a problem you want to solve and always start thinking at the end, before working backwards. Having guidelines helps you to stay on track!