Science in Practice
Meet your Mad Scientist - Dr Khay Fong
- What is your current position, and what do you do?
I’m a lecturer in chemistry. This means half my job is teaching, the other half research and the third half is university and community service. The teaching I’m trying to make fun – chemistry is a complex subject, but I’ve found that context is key. The research – my main research topic is the formulation and use of lipid nanomaterials as drug delivery systems. I only started researching microplastics this year as a passion project, but have found it so interesting that I am investigating deeper. The service side lets me interact with people outside of science and the university setting – these conversations are always interesting.
- What interests did you have growing up?
I liked to pull things apart and put them back together. I also liked to mix different foods together to see how they taste – only some of which was unpalatable.
I enjoyed the outdoors and playing team sports. I played assorted musical instruments, but my favourite was playing drums in a band.
- Would you recommend pursuing a career in the sciences?
If you’re a curious person, a career in science lets you explore things with increasingly bigger machines, some of which have lasers. It’s also taken me around the world and back. So yes, a career in science is highly recommended.
- What advice would you give to kids who are interested in the sciences?
Never stop asking why.
Dr Khay Fong is a Lecturer in Chemistry in the Faculty of Science in the School of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University of Newcastle. Her teaching focuses on analytical, physical and colloidal chemistry. Her research projects utilise synchrotron science, light scattering and synthesis of nanoparticles as well as novel amphiphiles.
Dr Fong is an active member of the Australasian Colloid and Interface Science Society.
Dr Fong completed her PhD at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2013). She subsequently was awarded a highly competitive Victorian Postdoctoral Research Fellowship which took her to ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2014-15) and back to Monash (2016). She was the first recipient of the National Center of Competence in Research in Bio-Inspired Materials Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for Women at the Adolphe Merkle Institute, Université de Fribourg, Switzerland (2017-18).