QAEHS in Focus: Lily Pan

3 Jun 2024

QAEHS in Focus shines the spotlight on QAEHS staff and students to showcase the expertise and talent within our Centre. 

Phd candidate Lily PanWhy did you choose QAEHS to study with?

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t factor in that I had spent some time at QAEHS before starting my PhD. It was comforting to know that I would be working with colleagues and supervisors whom I had already established trusting relationships with. Besides that, QAEHS has a welcoming atmosphere, everyone is supportive and motivating. Plus, there are the top-tier instruments!

What is your research about?

Current research shows that plastic is a threat to environmental and human health because of increasing consumption and the significant difficulty for the plastic to break down. As humans, we are surrounded by plastic products every day, from food wrappings to our clothes. My research is investigating the fate and effects of micro and nanoplastics in the human body. Specifically, I study the effects of nanoplastics on the blood-brain barrier, which protects our brain from potentially harmful substances in the blood circulation.

How do QAEHS academics assist with the development of your research?

They give constructive feedback, are very approachable, always happy to offer ideas and have a discussion, and find the time in their busy schedule to help. People also come from diverse backgrounds and various disciplines and have plenty of experiences and I think that often helps to give me new ideas and look at whatever problem I have from a different angle.

What has been the best advice you have received about coping with the move to Brisbane?

It has been a few years, so I don’t remember much. Maybe a UQ-specific one – bring a jumper with you if you plan on staying in a lecture theatre/library/office for a long time!

What is your favourite movie?

Nothing comes to mind immediately. I’m more of a TV drama person; my favourite series to date is Criminal Minds.

Random fact you would like to share about yourself.

I have 3 cats, 1 dog and lots of fish back home in China.