Dr Samantha Nixon
The University of Queensland
Samantha is a former arachnophobe, turned venoms scientist and spider advocate at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland. Her research harnesses the unique chemistries in venoms to develop new medicines. Her PhD focused on developing new antiparasitic drugs against parasitic worms of livestock and neglected tropical diseases. Her research now focuses on exploring the peptides of Australian venomous animals and using high throughput electrophysiology techniques to explore venom peptide pharmacology and potential in drug discovery. Samantha is an avid explorer, working around the world from the Amazon to the Antarctic. She is a passionate advocate for addressing inequality in STEM, education and leadership through science communication and hopes sharing her passion for spiders will help inspire the next-generation of Australian scientists. Samantha has been recognised with the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship, the UQ Global Change Scholar Award and Young Science Ambassador Award. Samantha was recently awarded the 2020 Queensland Women in STEM Prize, the 2020 Women in Technology Young Science Achiever Award and the 2020 Green Talent Award from the German Ministry of Education and Research, recognising her as one of the top 25 young leaders in science for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals worldwide.