Hannah Coombe in a laboratory

Hannah Coombe

Time Traveller Through the Brain

PhD Candidate,
College of Health and Medicine
University of Tasmania

Do you love to ask questions? I do! Asking questions is how I ended up becoming a neuroscientist!

I found that for a lot of the questions I asked, no one had answers. I still remember the day, when I was younger, when I asked my mum “why can we not just give sick people medicine to get better?” Sadly, I learnt there was not a medicine to cure every illness. This came as quite a shock to me, and I told my mum that I would help find medicines for people to get better. So, by asking questions I ended up studying medical research at the University of Tasmania and becoming a neuroscientist.

A neuroscientist is someone who studies the brain. I am currently studying a disease, called stroke, where there is not enough blood getting to the brain. To find better treatments, we first need to study the brain and how it changes after a stroke, so we have a better understanding of what is happening and how we can help it. I look at the tiniest parts of the brain, the cells. These cells change if you have a stroke, and they change differently for old people and young people. By comparing the brains of old people and young people who have had strokes, I can travel through time in the brain!

Even when I am not doing my research, I still love to ask questions about everything and anything! I also love playing tennis. I used to play tennis at a national level, but I just play for fun now. My favourite colour is pink. My current goal is to add as much pink as I possibly can to everything in my life (even the lab where I work!)


Follow Hannah on Twitter: @HannahCoombe6