What is your current role and how did you get to be there?
I am a senior scientist based at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne and more recently a graduate researcher within GSK, Melbourne. I am leading large international interdisciplinary research projects being an inventor of several newborn technologies. I graduated with a BSc/BE (Honours, 2008) and a subsequent PhD (2012) for the thesis titled Advances in pulmonary drug delivery via surface acoustic wave nebulization at Monash Engineering.
I have been recognised both nationally and internationally throughout my career for delivering high-quality results, evidenced through the 2010 Young Biomedical Engineer of the Year (Engineers Australia) award among other noted professional contributions to the field of science and engineering. A major spin-off from my research has led to forming ‘Misti’ – on a mission to forge new frontiers in how medication is delivered globally. Misti was born to meet an urgent need to address a global problem to safeguard all children from preventable infection.
How does your work contribute to the field and/or the overall health and wellbeing of the community?
Misti has the potential to change how vaccines and therapies are delivered traditionally and positively impact the most vulnerable children worldwide. The foundation for this start-up idea was born during my PhD in 2013, also as part of my own mission to overcome my significant needle phobia from early childhood.
Over 200,000 children are hospitalised each year with respiratory syncytial virus in Australia, with no vaccine or accessible supportive treatment options. Misti will offer a nebuliser that is a first-in-class, low-cost, scientifically validated lung delivery system to offer rapid protection. I encourage you to follow our journey on LinkedIn
What project would you love to get off the ground, or skill would you develop, if you had the opportunity?
Currently, I am working to get the Misti program off the ground while preparing for investment. I hope to be more versed in financials and commercial acumen – quite a complementary skill for a biomedical engineer!
What are your loves outside of work?
I founded a not-for-profit organisation, ‘Think Project’, to facilitate transfer of STEM solutions to low-resource settings. Think Project is now a registered charity and we have recently made a significant donation of life-saving medicines and medical equipment to a major hospital in a developing country under crisis.
I am also passionate about empowering female-led business, nutrition and self-care. To round out my passions, I founded ‘Vitality by Dr Anushi’, and contribute my love for nutrition through family recipes and voluntary mindfulness sessions. I am a mum of two primary school-aged children, who loves to cook, read and practices mindfulness and yoga in her spare time.
What is one piece of advice you could pass onto others following their own career in the health and medical research sector?
Finding what you truly enjoy and what you are good at’ may seem easy on the surface but turned out to be one of the biggest challenges personally for me. I currently wear a number of hats – in academia, pharma-industry and also in entrepreneurship. It took me a number of years to figure this out for myself. This is now my new ‘success metric’, no matter what others may perceive as ‘successful’.