Yara Toenders

PhD candidate, Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne

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Do what you feel passionate about and don't worry about how long it will take you to get to where you want to go.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

My PhD project consists of two parts. In the first part I'm looking at subgroups of depression in young people. These subgroups differ on what symptoms they show, and I also examine their brain structure. In the second part of my PhD I am using large datasets to try to predict depression onset in young people. Knowing more about which young people will develop depression could help improve early intervention.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

I was always really curious and asking questions about everything, however I thought I wanted to work directly with people (as for example a psychologist). During my Bachelor and Master's I did some internships at research groups at the university and the hospital and it wasn't until then that I realised that in research I could work with people (with research participants, but also colleagues) ánd answer the questions I had. I really enjoyed the internships I did during my studies and therefore chose to start a PhD soon after I finished my Master's degree.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

Studying on the other side of the world.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I really enjoy learning something new on a daily basis.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Do what you feel passionate about and don't worry about how long it will take you to get to where you want to go.

INSPO / FUN FACT

"He's the strongest man in the world."
"Man, yes, but I am the strongest girl in the world, remember that." - Pippi Longstocking

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