Childhood asthma leads to drug discovery

Professor Avril Robertson suffered from severe asthma as a child, a condition which caused her to miss a lot of school. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder that caused 441 recorded deaths in Australia in 2017.

She now works in the field of drug discovery, saying the difference Ventolin made to her life was a prime motivator in her career choice. Used to treat asthma, Ventolin is a medication that opens up the medium and large airways in the lungs. 

“I can clearly recall the first time I took Ventolin and how much this drug benefited my life,” she said.

“My pursuit of science as a career comes from a very strong desire to make a difference in medical science, and to give other people that feeling of relief.”

In 2019, Avril was nominated as an Ambassador for UQ’s SAGE Pilot of Athena SWAN, a position she saw as an honour and an opportunity to highlight opportunities for women.

The UQ SAGE Pilot of the Athena SWAN program is designed to address and improve gender equity in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) disciplines.

You can help more women like Avril create change in the world.

October 23rd is UQ’s Giving Day. You can be a ChangeMaker by supporting the Women in Action Fund or LeadHers: UQ’s first confidence-building incubator for women leaders.

Become a ChangeMaker on UQ's Giving Day