The NVRI’s unique space within the Australian vision research landscape grows stronger with the addition of each exceptional researcher. In turn, the NVRI’s stimulating and nurturing environment plays an important role in researchers’ formative years who are making impact internationally.
Yu-Shan Hung is an alumnus who spent her formative years in the NVRI halls, completing her PhD and first post-doctoral position with us. Since that time, Yu-Shan spent six years in a research position at the National Institutes of Health in the USA and is currently an Australian Science Policy Fellow with the Australian government.
Please describe your time at the NVRI.
I joined NVRI as a PhD student when Michael relocated his lab from the Australian National University (ANU) to Melbourne in mid-2011. After my PhD, I stayed for about two years as a postdoctoral fellow, examining information processing in the retina as part of the efforts to develop a retinal prostheses. During this time, I was also continuing my PhD work on the anatomy of honeybee eyes.
Why did you choose the NVRI?
I was drawn to the NVRI by the unique opportunity to work on retinal ganglion cells, to learn and master the technique of patch clamping, and at the same time, be able to continue my PhD study on honeybee vision.
What is your fondest memory of your time at the NVRI?
Memories from my time at the NVRI are focused on the early days after we just relocated to Melbourne. The whole lab worked as a team getting things set up – from the office space to rig rooms; trying to stay sane (and awake) for those late-night experiments in the lab; random (and sometimes serious) lunch time conversations. Also, the rubik’s cubes…
One of NVRI’s main goals has been to help support the development of early career researchers. Can you describe how your time at the NVRI helped enhance your research career?
I really liked the collaborative environment that the NVRI provided. Working with researchers from diverse fields (including engineering, neuro-engineering, material science, and clinical sciences) broadened my experience. Also, the opportunities to learn new techniques, to work on different system, and the supports to attend international conferences contributed greatly to my career development.
Can you describe your experience at the NVRI in two sentences?
Experiments were sometimes challenging and frustrating, but you knew it would be all alright because you were working in a team with great supportive people.
Also, the location of NVRI is great- it’s in the heart of everything, plus the food and coffee on Lygon street are phenomenal!