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Doctorate the first step

UNSW PhD candidate, Cara Young, is working on a new therapy for type 1 diabetes. She is exploring techniques to prevent rejection of insulin-producing cells injected into patients. 

The technique involves creating semi-porous membranes capable of shielding introduced cells from the body’s immune system.

Cara said the application could go beyond diabetes. “This is being looked at by other research groups for liver disease, central nervous diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, even genetically modifying cells to secrete anti-cancer factors,” she told The Australian.

Based at UNSW’s Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Cara’s work is featured in the Higher Education Special Report on postgraduate education. 

She said completing her doctorate is not her main goal but rather a first step on her career path.

"Before you get here, you think it's what you're aiming for. Once you get here it really is just the start," she said.

"You move through your PhD, start publishing, get recognised in your specific area, move on to a postdoc and a fellowship and up the ranks of a university or another sort of research organisation," she said.

UNSW is holding its annual Postgrad Week from 19–21 September, offering a series of events showcasing postgraduate coursework and research programs.

All faculties will host tailored information sessions to give prospective postgraduate students the opportunity to discuss the flexible and career-focused programs on offer at UNSW.

What: UNSW Postgrad Week

When: 19–21 September 2011

Where: UNSW Campuses – Kensington and Sydney CBD

For further information about the University of New South Wales, visit or email

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