Profile – Dr Karissa Barthelson, Flinders University

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Dr Karissa Barthelson

Dr Karissa Barthelson


Dr Karissa Barthelson

Job title:

Race Against Dementia – Dementia Australia Research Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow

Place of work / study:

Flinders University, Australia

Area of Research:

Shared mechanisms and treatments between different types of dementia.

How is your work funded?

Race Against Dementia and Dementia Australia Research Foundation

Tell us a little about yourself:

I obtained a Bachelor of Science with first class honours at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. I then continued at University of Adelaide to get my PhD, where I used zebrafish as a model organism to understand the early changes which underly Alzheimer’s disease. I am now working toward establishing myself as an independent researcher, where I am investigating common mechanisms between different types of dementia (mainly Alzheimer’s disease and Sanfilippo syndrome childhood dementia).

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I’m a big fan of Aussie Rules football and an avid supporter of the Adelaide Crows.

Why did you choose to work in dementia?

I have always been fascinated by the complexity of the human brain. I have witnessed first-hand the slow deterioration of with Alzheimer’s disease, and the devastation it has on the whole family. This has driven me to dedicate my career to developing a treatment for dementia.

What single piece of advice would you give to an early career researcher?

Don’t let failure discourage you. Learn from your mistakes in the experiment that didn’t work. Ask for feedback on the unfunded grant and use this information to refine for a future submission. These challenges we face as ECRs are all part of the process.

What book are you reading right now? Would you recommend it?

Crackle and Fizz: Essential Communication and Pitching Skills for Scientists by Caroline van den Brul. This is a fantastic resource explaining the art of science communication. I definitely would recommend!

Can we find you on Twitter & Instagram?


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