2010 Invitrogen Education Award: Janet Macaulay

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Monash University

Janet Macaulay received a BSc(Hons) and MSc from the Department of Biochemistry at Monash University and then worked at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, with Leonard Jarrett studying insulin signalling and action. On her return to Australia, she worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, with Garry Warne and Zig Krozowski studying androgen receptors and binding proteins in relation to the mechanism of androgen action in humans. While working at the Children’s Hospital she completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne.

Janet then returned to the Department of Biochemistry at Monash and focused on education, progressing from sessional tutor to her current Senior Lecturer position. Although her teaching was always well received by students, she enrolled in a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, believing that if she was to follow a career in education, she should have a thorough understanding of the principles of teaching, learning and assessment.

Janet’s teaching philosophy is aimed at empowering students to become active independent learners. She is engaged in the development and delivery of biochemical education in the context of Science, Health and Medicine courses. To achieve this, she has developed innovative teaching and learning programs which introduce more active, student-centred and flexible learning. She is also involved in student transition and mentoring programs designed to engage students in their learning. Janet has developed training programs for tutors and demonstrators with an aim to influence and inspire undergraduate students and assist the professional development of postgraduate students.

In recent years, Janet has become involved in research into learning and teaching. This emanates from her strong belief that the teaching and learning methods we introduce to our students should be thoroughly researched to ensure that we are truly developing and implementing the highest possible quality in teaching and learning. Janet’s research specifically looks at how to engage students with their learning and provide high quality learning environments. Janet is on the editorial board of educational journals, is an invited consultant on educational projects and has been an organiser of educationally focused forums, including the national workshop on ‘Innovative and Flexible Learning in the 21st Century’ and the ASBMB-supported ‘2007 Forum on Education in Biomedical Sciences’, and is on the local organising group for the OzBio2010 education sessions.