Adam Cooper: Humans of BioSciences

Meet Adam Cooper, whose high school and undergraduate journey inspired him to study biology and helped him find a passion for science.

Adam Cooper - portrait
What drew you to study biology?

I started off biology in year 10 as a way to accelerate my VCE. However, I quickly discovered my love for science. I found it fascinating that the small and arbitrary systems that exist within our bodies could all coincide to amount to large and complex organisms as ourselves. Studying biology makes me curious as to how we may be able to understand such processes better and take advantage of them to help cure disease and solve other large and global problems.

What did you enjoy most about studying at the University of Melbourne as a UMEP student, and now?

As a UMEP student I was really fascinated by the similarities and differences I observed between university and high school. I found the learning more independent, which was highly appealing, and that the many practicals made my learning really hands-on, which fueled my interest more. As a full-time student now, my interest has increased across all my areas of study; with dynamic learning environments and a broader choice in my topics, I can more readily follow my passions. Furthermore, the culture and people at the university really add to the already great and collaborative environment.

What biosciences subjects are you studying now? What do you enjoy most about these subjects?

I am currently studying Foundation of Genetics and Genomics as well as Molecular and Cellular Biomedicine. The two subjects take on a very different scope in biology, which makes things interesting and the two complement each other nicely. Both subjects use the basic conceptual understanding of many topics and relates them to real and observable events in organisms, which really grounds my learning and keeps things relevant to real life.

What advice would you give to VCE students thinking of studying biology?

My advice is to give things a shot. If you think you might be interested in some topic or area then take every opportunity that comes your way; there’s no harm in putting your hand up for something. Following your interests broadly and learning about new topics will definitely help you find your passion. In my early high school days, I tried putting myself forward for any science event offered by my school which led me to some great opportunities and have guided me to where I am today.

The University of Melbourne Extension Program (UMEP) in biology gives high achieving Year 12 VCE students the opportunity to advance their education by studying first-year university subjects in biology while still completing their VCE.

'Humans of BioSciences' is a special new series to introduce the School of BioSciences' undergrad and postgrad students, our academics, professional staff and associates.