Making a scientific contribution to society

Making a scientific contribution to society

Whether he’s in Singapore, Australia or Africa, Bachelor of Medical Science student Sam Kwong is determined to use his scientific skills to make a contribution to society.

Initially starting off studying business and accounting, Sam soon realised he felt more at home and like he could make more of an impact in a laboratory.

“Working only to make money and to make the most profit wasn’t for me. I wanted to make a contribution to society, like finding a cure for disease. That’s why I chose science.”

While studying a Diploma in Molecular Biotechnology at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore, many of Sam’s friends began moving to Queensland, Melbourne and Sydney to study at university.

Following in his friends’ footsteps, once Sam graduated, he decided to investigate studying in Australia for himself.

“I did some research and realised that my Diploma qualification meant that I could get one year of credit for the Bachelor of Medical Science at ANU.”

Learning directly from the University’s biomedical scientists and health professionals, who are working to develop new cancer vaccines or ground-breaking treatments for autoimmune diseases, Sam has been soaking up new information every day.

“Even though some universities offered two years credit, I’m really glad I still get to study for two years at ANU. I’ve been learning things that weren’t covered in my Diploma and I think that only one year at an Australian uni wouldn’t give you enough time to adapt to your new environment.

“Friends had told me that students went to Sydney and Melbourne for fun, and that it was hard to focus on study, even if you wanted to, because of peer pressure and all the distractions of a big city.

“I’ve found that Canberra is a great place to study. It’s a quiet environment and you’re surrounded by nature. The air quality is excellent, way better than Singapore! Plus, its only three hours from Sydney from bus, so you can easily go there on the weekend.”

Living on campus at Bruce Hall, Sam has been able to make friends with both international and Australian students.

“I’ve found it quite easy to make friends here, especially with other international students. This has made it easy for me to adapt to life in Australia and at ANU. I’ve joined the International Student Department as an officer, and the Hong Kong Society too, as a committee member.

“In medical science, there aren’t many international students, so I’ve made friends with Australian students too.”

While he was undertaking his Diploma in Singapore, Sam undertook a six month research project where he worked in Government laboratories to research anti-malarial drug resistance.

He hopes to continue this research by commencing a PhD at ANU once he graduates from his undergraduate degree.

“Malaria affects so many people across the world, especially in Africa, and I’m really interested in how anti-malarial drugs work, and how resistance to anti-malarial drugs has become a problem.

“Plus, I’ve already adapted to the environment, I’ve got friends and I’m part of the community here at ANU.”

Make your own scientific contribution to society by studying a Bachelor of Medical Science at ANU. 

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