Dr Shelley Gorman
Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia
Dr Gorman’s research is all about getting the balance right for sun exposure. Too much and we risk skin cancer, too little and we risk missing out on the benefits of sun exposure like vitamin D. She has found that ultraviolet radiation and vitamin D could be used as a means of controlling inappropriate immune and inflammatory responses that cause lung and skin diseases like asthma and psoriasis. More recently, she has been investigating whether sun exposure may prevent obesity. I have found that ongoing exposure to short stints of ultraviolet radiation reduced the development of obesity in mice fed a high fat diet. These studies suggest that our increasingly indoor lifestyles may be promoting obesity not only through reduced activity and exercise, but also by reducing the time we spend in the sun.
Shelley enjoys sharing the findings of her work with researchers, students, parliamentarians, interested stakeholders and community members. These range from engaging with visitors touring the institute to speaking with medical practitioners for translation of her findings into the clinic.
She also gave the keynote address at the Closing Ceremony of the 2013 National Youth Science Forum.