Unique Scientist: Chelsea Gerada

Time to meet Chelsea Gerada (She/her)! Chelsea is a virologist interested in how herpesviruses regulate the fate of the cells they infect. Chelsea is working towards her Ph.D. in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at The University of Sydney in Australia!

What kind of scientist are you?
I am a PhD student who studies the ways in which human herpesviruses can modulate host defence such as cell death and innate immunity. The way these viruses interact with the nervous system is also an interest. I also really love getting involved in teaching and science communication because it allows me to be creative.

What made you want to become a scientist?
I wanted to do science since I was in primary school, knowing why things happen always intrigued me. For me, getting to study how the body works on a cellular level makes me appreciate life so much more, I really can’t imagine doing anything else.

What makes you a #UniqueScientist?
I am unique by being a woman, even though thankfully gender representation in science seems to be getting a bit better. I like to express my uniqueness by the way I present myself this includes changing the colour of my hair to match my mood and getting tattoos to represent my scientific achievements.

“Getting to study how the body works on a cellular level makes me appreciate life so much more.”

Chelsea Gerada

What’s something cool you do outside of work?
I am really into singing and acting, even though I don’t get much of a chance to practice anymore, nothing helps relieve some stress than belting out songs from musicals. I also play tennis regularly, it’s a great non contact sport because you are separated from your opponent by a net. Also am a full time crazy cat lady.

If you had one wish and could change anything in science, what would it be?
For there to be less judgement/ competitiveness in general, if everyone could collaborate and help each other out, imagine how much more efficient science could be. Also it would be great if negative results were celebrated as much as positive ones because they are still important!

“If everyone could collaborate and help each other out, imagine how much more efficient science could be.”

Chelsea Gerada

Who has inspired you the most in your journey to where you are now?
Almost too many people to mention, but my mum has been a massive inspiration to me she isn’t a scientist but has taught me to be proud of my achievements and to not change myself for others. Scientist Tess has also motivated me to try out research through honours, I ended up doing my honours and PhD in the same lab and she has been a constant source of support and inspiration. Additionally, my supervisors Allison Abendroth and Megan Steain (@m_steain) have inspired me to follow a career in science showing me that as a woman you can balance having a family with your career.

Let’s end on a high note! What’s something you’ve done this week that you’re proud of?
I submitted a paper draft to my supervisor and it didn’t have too much to change. Also I beat my PB for number of aces served in tennis in one match.


#WomenInSTEM

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