Mark is a microbiologist, whose love of science and fascination with how the world works led to a life-long passion in medical research.
As an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person, Mark hopes his research will add to the increasing knowledge around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. In the future Mark would like to see continued growth in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals—from nurses, doctors to scientists to policy makers. Like himself—working together to investigate and solve health problems for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community.
Growing up in Darwin, Mark accepted a traineeship at the Menzies School of Health Research. With Menzies support and continued study at Charles Darwin University, he equipped himself with the research background and technical expertise which today sees Mark as a highly regarded scientist and member of the internationally recognised Menzies melioidosis project team.
His research focusses on the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei—the cause of the potentially fatal disease melioidosis. This bacterium lives in the soil and water in Northern Australia and on average causes between 30 to 40 cases of melioidosis per year with 3 to 4 deaths.
Mark is researching many different approaches to detect the bacteria early in melioidosis patients which will help to reduce severe illness and death. Marks research encompasses clinical aspects of the disease, environmental work to understand the bacteria’s origins and molecular DNA research to understand how the bacteria works to infect humans.
He shares his journey into research with us.