Alumni Career Snapshot – Dr. Lesley Cheng, PhD

Killester is delighted to be starting a series of ‘Alumni Career Snapshots’. Here is our first interview with Dr. Lesley Cheng, PhD.

My Education:

  • Class of 1998, VCE: Specialist Maths, Maths Methods, Biology, Chemistry and IT at Killester College
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science with Honours in Medical Science and Cell Biology, Monash University
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD in Cell Biology and Biochemistry), Monash University

I completed my degrees by 2008.

After completing my PhD, I worked at:

  • The American Hospital Dubai, U.A.E, as a Clinical Research Scientist where I developed diagnostic tests for newborn babies to detect genetic disorders
  • The University of Melbourne as a Postdoctoral Researcher where I began my current research focus which is to develop a blood-based diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease
  • La Trobe University as a Senior Postdoctoral Researcher where I now lead a group of researchers to further develop blood-based diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, in addition to cancer and infectious diseases

My career pathway and highlights:

I have taken the ‘typical academic pathway’ to obtain my career. I loved the time during my Honours and PhD which involved mostly hands-on laboratory work, similar to an apprenticeship. I was able to create, innovate and discover new science and technologies that could help the health and well-being of people living with a disease. My work has been published in the world’s top scientific journals which has generated interest in the media including a TEDx Melbourne talk. I am now establishing a Biotechnology company to supply my blood tests to the community and I am learning to balance a career in science and business entrepreneurship.

Best things about my job:

1. Always discovering something new

2.Using cutting edge technology and instruments

3.Travelling the world to conferences and meetings

Challenges of my job:

1.Finding funding to financially support my research.

2. There are others in the world with the same idea. It’s competitive but this drives me to get there first and not become another ‘me too’.

My advice:

Work on your communication skills together with your studies.

All company goals require a team of people with different expertise. There’s no point in being good at what you do if you can’t communicate with others or non-experts.


Killester College would like to thank Dr. Lesley Cheng for taking the time to assist us in developing this article. We are certain that your story and career pathway will inspire our girls. If you are a Killester alumni and would like to share your story with us please contact us.

Lesley Cheng

Year 12 VET Kitchen Operations

Yesterday, our Year 12 VET Kitchen Operations class prepared take away meals that staff were able to purchase for lunch and dinner.

The students created 3 delicious dishes- Chicken Pho, Southern fried chicken drumsticks with Texas slaw as well as Chicken, leek and bocconcini parcels with mixed greens.

The work produced by these students was outstanding, and staff were very pleased with their meals.


To encourage students to read during remote learning, the Killester Library is setting up the Bagabook service.  Students can order the books online, and pick them up from the school in the afternoons between 3.00 and 3.30 pm.


This week Year 7 to 10 students began the second remote learning experience. To support student wellbeing we have included a new resource for students within the KOOL remote learning website – #MeTime. There is a dedicated time each week – Wednesday mornings, for students to focus on their wellbeing. Students can access links to a wide range of wellbeing/fun activities according to their interests in the areas of spirituality, creativity and physical activity.
Our students have enjoyed the #MeTime initiative, doing things such as origami, dancing and journalling.


Lots of lovely masks on display at our temperature checking stations this morning. Well done to everyone at Killester today; helping be part of the solution.


Wear your Beanie to School Day

We started off Term 3 with Wear your Beanie to School Day! It was a fun way to ease back into remote learning for years 7-10 and for the year 11 and 12 students who are at school.

Passion Project Expo

Last week we held our Passion Project expo. Over the remote learning period, students from Year 7-10 were given the task to create a project about something they were passionate about. We are extremely proud of all of the work that was produced.

Year 7-10 Return to School

On Tuesday the 9th of June 2020, we welcomed our year 7, 8, 9 and 10 students back to school. It is great to see their happy faces back in class after the remote learning period.

A Bugler’s Dream

A Bugler’s Dream performed by our brass students during remote learning.