Maryam Parviz

What is your current position, and what do you do?
I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney, Initiative for Biomedical Materials & Devices (IBMD). My research is focused on development of technologies and devices for early detection of disease and screening of new therapies.

Describe your study/employment pathway so far
I have received Bachelor and Master of Biomedical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic) in Iran, and then pursued my research in the Biosensor field in the laboratory of Scientia Professor Justin Gooding at UNSW School of Chemistry, where I received my PhD in 2017. Straight after my PhD, I joined Prof. Dayong Jin’s group to further develop my research career. Recently, I participated in a mini MBA course on Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program (MDCTP) at CICADA Innovation which is designed to accelerate commercialisation of medical technologies.

What achievement are you most proud of?
Overcoming fears of making mistakes by completing my study in the Gooding group, and building up my self-confidence have been personality-wise my biggest achievements. Recently, while I was pregnant and working full-time, I completed the Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program’s flagship course, Ignition CORE, on how to translate the technologies from bench-top to market. Later, I performed the showcase of my product in front of the NSW Minister for Health, and Industry, and academic guests. What makes me proud is that the 12-week course was during my third trimester, and the showcase happened when my son was only three weeks old.

What do you believe are the greatest attributes of a successful scientist?
Passionate about research, creative, hard-working and paying attention to details.

How have you used the skills/knowledge that you acquired, from studying chemistry, in your current role?
I could not catch and keep my current position without the trainings and lessons that I’ve received from my supervisors Scientia Professors, Justin Gooding and Katharina Gaus during my study in Chemistry at UNSW. I found this one of the most useful, though tough things that I ever could experience.

What helps you achieve a work-life balance?
As a married person, who has recently become a mum as well, it is an absolute challenge for me to hold the work-life balance. I found myself empowered with trainings that I have received from Justin on how to act professional at work to keep the efficacy as high as possible. Working with someone who is also family-oriented as a boss is absolute luck that I have had in my carrier so far. In addition to taking advice from my supervisors, I am a mentee of Professor Anthony Kelleher, a clinical immunologist. I believe being mentored by successful people is a key to achieve the work-life balance in academic.

What advice would you give to students starting their science careers?
Follow your passion and be thirsty to learn new things. There are many new enjoyable worlds that you can open their doors to by asking questions when you are a student. Also, from my personal experience, do not be afraid of making mistakes.

Is there anything you would like to share?
For international students, do not be afraid of language and cultural barriers, you will achieve what you believe, and Australia will make it even more pleasant for you. I would save a lot of time and energy for learning new stuff, if I could go back and put these kinds of fears away earlier than I did.

Return to 100 Faces of Chemistry