Dinner at Drouin Secondary College with Karen Butler

Amazing Work by an Amazing Young Local Woman.
This week’s dinner meeting was held in the Drouin Secondary College Restaurant “Food 4 Thought” where hospitality students, under the supervision of staff, operate a restaurant.It has become an annual event where a former student is invited as guest speaker to give a presentation on their work after leaving the College.
     Kate began by telling us it was a real buzz to have an old teacher – which audience response had her change to “former” teacher – phone her and invite her to speak to Rotary. That teacher is Mrs Deppeler.
Kate Butler is welcomed to Rotary by President Sharryn and Chairman Merv.
     Kate Butler (nee MacArthur) completed all her primary and secondary studies in Drouin, firstly at Drouin Primary School and then graduating as College Captain in the class of 2005, from Drouin Secondary College. She then accepted a scholarship to attend Melbourne University where she completed a Bachelor's Degree (with honours) in Science, and in doing so, found herself at home in the world of biomedical research.
     Kate is currently in the final stages of a PhD in medical biology at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (Australia's oldest medical research institute), where she looks at the pathways that control whether a cell lives or dies.        A key cellular component in these pathways is the mitochondria (the cell's energy source), and Kate has worked in collaboration with research groups over in the USA to use state-of-the-art microscopy techniques to image mitochondria inside cells during cell death.
     And then the travel bug took hold and she headed off to South America, returning inspired to undertake a PhD, which she is now in the process of finalising.
     Kate described how much advantage there is for her interests to be studied through Melbourne University in Parkville as this area is the centre of biomedical research facilities and the place where there are significant opportunities for research and employment which previously required moving overseas.
     Kate’s told us that her studies are into the biochemistry of cells, particularly the “power houses” of cells, the mitochondria. She then gave us a most interesting class in cell biology and advances in microscope technology. She suggested those interested in seeing great research could visit https://www.janelia.org/open-science/advanced-imaging-centre/instruments/lattice-light-sheet-microscope
     Kate has been offered a job at Monash University once she finishes her doctorate later this year.
Chairman Merv thanked Kate and complimented her on her obvious passion for her work. He said that Drouin was proud of her achievements to date and believed that much more was to come.
     Rotarian Jo commented that “I am proud of you, and I do not even know you. But I did know your grandmother and I know she would be most proud of you.”
     Chairman Merv congratulated the kitchen staff for their excellent meal and service. President Sharryn echoed all these remarks and thanked the Deppeler’s for organising another great evening.
President Sharryn welcomed the fifty six Rotarians, partners and guests to a meeting which she considered one of the highlights of our Rotary year. She welcomed our guest speaker Kate Butler nee Macarthur, her parents Angus and Clare and also Helen Legion from Bunyip-Garfield who was here as Terry Blundell’s guest, Jan having broken her foot yesterday.
Chairman Merv Deppeler welcomed all. He then shared advice from Sue Brooker that Ian was progressing but was still not able to return to work.
To arrange a tour of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute just follow the link https://www.wehi.edu.au/news/discovery-tours