News / 17 December 2016
Tanja Racic headshot

Tanja is a member of the Provis Group at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, at the Australian National University (ANU) where she is in the final stages of her PhD candidacy. Prior to commencing her PhD, Tanja received an Honours (First Class) in Neuroscience at the John Curtin School of Medical Research and a Bachelor of Medical Science at ANU.

The overarching aim of Tanja’s research project for her PhD is to better understand and mitigate inflammation and photoreceptor cell death in retinal degeneration. Specifically, investigating the role of corticosteroids in inflammation in retinal degeneration with respect to chemokine and cytokine activity.

Last year, Tanja volunteered to Co-convene EAPS 2016. Her enthusiasm and abundant organisational abilities helped make EAPS 2016 the success it was. When asked, “Why did you volunteer to help organise EAPS 2016?”, she said “I volunteered because I thought it would be a fantastic leadership opportunity whereby I could also build my skill set. I believed it was a great opportunity to collaborate with fellow PhD students around Australia and help create an event that promoted the sharing of scientific research and knowledge, engage students and facilitate a diverse group of students to network.” Asked if she can single out any specific highlights she says that she cannot, as it was all amazing, but declared, being part of the EAPS 2016 organizing committee was one of the best aspects of her PhD candidature.

Tanja also shared, “I have always been heavily involved in extra-curricular activities, it’s something I have a great passion for and I have always looked for opportunities to challenge myself.” She further explains “I first heard about EAPS in the first year of my PhD. I attended the inaugural EAPS2014 in Sydney, thought it was a fantastic student-led conference and signed up without hesitation to be Co-convener during the EMBL PhD Course last year in Perth.” She declares “I loved the EAPS 2016 experience so much I have signed up again and am on the EAPS 2017 organizing committee!”

Tanja will be taking up another challenge next year. She has been accepted into the 2017 Graduate Programme at the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in

Canberra and says of her upcoming role, “I can incorporate my passion for science and use my transferrable skills I have obtained during my postgraduate study in order to make a broader impact.”

Tanja would also like to share some advice with the organizers of EAPS 2017 “Preparation is the key to the success of the event. Have a great time, make sure you enjoy the experience. It is a fantastic professional development opportunity and a great way to make friends and meet lots of new people.”

Congratulations Tanja. A great achievement.