Catia Pierotti

Catia Pierotti

Catia Pierotti
Whilst Ms Catia Pierotti’s PhD research focuses on how cells die, her nascent career has proved remarkably lively – and successful.

Catia Pierotti and Associate Professor Guillaume Lessene
PhD student Ms Catia Pierotti and Associate Professor
Guillaume Lessene

Whilst studying for her Bachelor of Science at The University of Melbourne, Catia completed an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) placement in Associate Professor Guillaume Lessene’s laboratory.

She next pursued her interest in research through Honours studies, for which she received the 2015 Colman Speed Honours Award as the Institute’s top Honours student.

Her next step was PhD studies continuing on from her Honours research, investigating how ‘necroptosis’, a form of cell death, is regulated.

“Necroptosis has been implicated in a variety of inflammatory diseases, including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease,” Catia explained.

“By using small molecules as tools to undercover how cells die, I hope to improve our understanding of necroptosis and contribute to the development of new drugs to treat inflammatory diseases.”

Catia’s academic accolades to date include authoring a research paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Her daily activities often involve a combination of chemistry, biochemistry and cell biology.

“This is one of the things I like best about research – it is never boring, and no two days are the same,” she said.

Somewhere between her experiments, Catia also found time to complete a Diploma in Music majoring in piano performance – another passion in her life.

Endless opportunities

PhD student Catia Pierotti
PhD student Catia Pierotti’s PhD research focuses
on how cells die

“There are endless opportunities for students, including access to world-class facilities and instruments, opportunities to collaborate with other researchers, high quality seminars and lectures from leading scientists, career and professional development opportunities, social activities and sport events,” Catia said.

Catia is also a member of the Institute’s student association. “It’s a fantastic experience to work with such an inspiring and motivated group of PhD students to organise various academic, professional development and social events for the Institute’s students,” she said.

“I feel so privileged to be undertaking postgraduate studies at the Institute,” Catia said.

Bronze medal for best honours student

The Colman Speed Honours Award is presented each year to our top Honours student.