Alice Williamson

Former School :St Gregory’s Catholic High School

Subjects at Priestley :Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and English Literature

Destination :Masters in Medicinal Chemistry at Leeds University and Open Malaria Project Australia

Alice Williamson discovered her passion for science while studying at Priestley College and went on to be named one of Australia’s most promising young scientists due to her work with the Open Source Malaria project.

She explained: “We are designing new medicines to tackle malaria and rather than writing down our findings in a secret notebook we publish it all online.

“Anyone can see our findings and not just those who pay for it as happens in some laboratories when big companies are involved. It means other scientists around the world can learn from our discoveries and hopefully it will lead to a cure being found sooner.”

The Open Source Malaria project shares all data and welcomes contributions from anyone, no matter what their expertise.

It promises not to patent any of its research—making it the world’s first completely open drug discovery project.

Alice, who is 30, is the lead experimental chemist for Open Source Malaria and was recently named one of Australia’s Top 5 scientists Under 40, a project to find the most promising minds of the next generation with a passion for scientific communication.

She originally considered becoming a furniture designer before focussing on her sciences and went on to complete a Masters in Medicinal Chemistry at Leeds University and a PhD at Cambridge during which she designed a new type of chemical reaction.


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