I liked the flexibility of being able to study online, rather than the need to attend face-to-face...
What led you to choose UTS:Law for your postgraduate studies? I completed a PhD in Molecular Immunology at UTS under Professor Robert Raison in the Immunobiology Unit. Following that I held a number of postdoctoral positions both in Australia and overseas. This included working in Lausanne, Switzerland and as an NH&MRC Senior Research Officer at the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology in Sydney.
After being in medical research for almost 20 years, I was interested in pursuing new challenges via a career change. This was initiated when I accepted a position in the legal team of Apollo Life Sciences, a start-up biotechnology company, where I was introduced to intellectual property law. At Apollo, I had friends who were studying to be patent attorneys through the UTS Master of Industrial/Intellectual Property (MIP) degree, which I discussed with them. I liked the flexibility of being able to study online, rather than the need to attend face-to-face lectures.
What does your job involve? I am an Associate at Shelston IP, one of the largest and most respected specialist intellectual property firms in Australia and New Zealand. I specialise in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, health care products, diagnostic technology and food technology. I am involved in all aspects of patent-related work including drafting of patent specifications, prosecution of patent applications, oppositions before the Patent Office and the preparation of infringement and validity advice. I have also been involved in making submissions to the recent Senate Inquiries into gene patenting.
How have your studies at UTS contributed to your career? The MIP at UTS provides a pathway to registration for patent attorneys. As such, completing this degree was essential to my career.
What was the most rewarding aspect of your degree? The most rewarding aspect of my degree was the opportunity to learn a new profession.
What would your advice be for someone who is looking at studying Law at UTS? I think that learning is a privilege, so having the opportunity to learn and develop expertise in the complex area of intellectual property law has been and continues to be very rewarding. Notwithstanding, it’s probably more enjoyable having learnt than doing the actual learning, which most of the time requires a great deal of hard work. However, learning through hard work certainly gives you a real sense of achievement. Of course, the most enjoyable part of the course was making friendships with other students, and the best piece of advice I could give to current or future students is “don’t leave UTS with just a degree”.
Do you intend to maintain a relationship with or continue your involvement with UTS after graduating? If so, in what capacity? After I completed the MIP and registered as a patent attorney, I realised that it was important to continue learning, and I considered that a teaching role would provide that opportunity. Currently, I am one of the instructors for Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications in the UTS MIP course.