Peanut allergens the path to FameLab final

Deakin news
19 June 2019

It was all about nuts and guts when Deakin University molecular biologist Dr Dwan Price took to the stage for the FameLab Australia national finals in May.

FameLab is a live science communication competition that aims to discover charismatic early career scientists who can inspire people to see the world from new perspectives. It runs annually in Australia and in more than 25 countries across the world.

Dr Price reached the national finals by winning the Victorian state final with her Nuts and Guts presentation about the impact of peanut allergens on gut leakiness and what routes these allergens take when crossing the intestine.

‘The FameLab journey was exhilarating,’ Dr Price says.

‘The intensive stage training, provided by Dallas Campbell, a science television presenter from the BBC, was a completely unique experience. I learnt how to 'own the stage', bust my fears, and perform for a huge audience. This was so different to the stock standard scientific conference presentation I was used to.’

Based in Deakin’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Dr Price believes scientists have a duty to communicate their findings to the general public.

‘It's our job to bring scientific conversation to the dinner table, but the science is not going to be heard or retold if it isn't communicated with clarity.

‘Being a FameLab Finalist means you have to be a master storyteller. You have to craft incredibly complex scientific ideas into a tale that is entertaining, theatrical and understandable by all, even children.’

When she isn’t being a science master storyteller, Dr Price currently teaches at Deakin during T1 and T2 into ‘numerous’ science units within the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment . During T3, she is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for Deakin AIRwatch, and manages the monitoring site at the Burwood Campus during the pollen season from early October to late December.

You can watch Dr Price in action with her Nuts and Guts presentation at the FameLab Australia finals here on Australia’s Science Channel.

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