Ayshe Sahinovic

Medical Science (Honours)
Ayshe is a medical science student now undertaking her honours year. She tells us about her experiences studying as undergraduate at Sydney, her study highlights and where she's hoping to go next.

What is your study journey? 

I graduated from a Bachelor of Medical Science (Biochemistry) and took a year off to pursue some of my other interests.

I spent a couple of months in Nepal deepening my yoga practice and doing a lot of research into the endocannabinoid system (an area of interest to me!). It was then I realised that I wanted to deepen this understanding by learning from scientists within the field, so I applied to undertake an honours at the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics.

There was a project that aligned perfectly with my interests and I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to be part of the research team. I have been thanking my lucky stars ever since!

What was it about studying at the University of Sydney that appealed to you?

I was initially drawn to the University of Sydney because it provided a postgraduate pathway into medicine (this is something I hope to pursue after my Bachelor degree).

After being here, I have come to appreciate the passion that emanates from the academics and lecturers at the university, particularly those within the Faculty of Science.

What has been the best aspect of your time at Sydney so far?

By far my honours year! I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside a team of incredibly kind, intelligent and hardworking researchers, who have not only guided me through my honours project, but have inspired me to strive to be the best that I can be in all aspects of life.

The work itself has been incredibly rewarding, and given me a deeper understanding of what goes on behind the scenes in the field of research.

The work itself has been incredibly rewarding, and given me a deeper understanding of what goes on behind the scenes in the field of research.

What is it like undertaking honours at Westmead?

I had the opportunity to undertake a unit which explored the causes, progression and treatment options for various cancers (AMED 3001- Cancer).

It was a unit that provided students with a holistic understanding of the aetiology and pathophysiology of cancer and how our current scientific knowledge is applied in its prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

What was it about the Westmead units that was unique?

The unit was taught through a series of interactive workshops which allowed for a more comprehensive deconstruction and discussion of topics.

Each workshop was led by a different researcher or practitioner at Westmead Hospital which exposed us to diverse perspectives and an endless reservoir of knowledge.

There was a significant focus on science communication throughout the semester. This is a skill which is often overlooked yet incredibly important, particularly given how rapidly the field of research is expanding.

One of our assessments was to create an educational advertisement which informed individuals about treatment options for a cancer of our choice; the challenge was to convey the science whilst understanding the emotions, motivations and hardships faced by our audience.

Who would the Westmead units most appeal to?

Anyone and everyone! Those who are looking for a new learning environment, exposure to a hospital setting and to education from physicians, scientists and professionals working in diverse disciplines would love what Westmead has to offer.

What do you hope do upon graduating? What career do you hope to pursue?

I hope to pursue a career through which I can teach, guide and inspire others to reconnect to their minds and bodies through movement.

Movement is something that is inherent to who we are as humans, and a vital aspect of our health and wellbeing. For example, research has shown that exercise is as effective, if not more so, at preventing, treating and managing the metabolic syndrome (one of the biggest health challenges our society faces). It’s also super fun and free- I can’t think of a better medicine!