Eppie Yiu FRACP

Novel Genes and Therapies in Neurogenetic Disorders

Eppie trained in Neurology and neuromuscular disease at Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne for 2½ years and spent 2 years at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto doing general neurology and multiple sclerosis. She developed her interest in neuromuscular disorders in Melbourne and returned to do her PhD in this area in mid 2010.

Interview by Russell Dale, 29 November 2013


Hi Eppie, hope you are well! What PhD research are you doing?

The title of my PhD is “Novel Genes and Therapies in Neurogenetic Disorders” and it consists of three studies. The first is a clinical trial in Friedreich ataxia. The second relates to the identification of a new CMT locus and gene, and the third examines the utility of peripheral nerve ultrasound in children with CMT1A I am in the final stage of writing and hope to submit my thesis at the end of 2013.


And who are your supervisors?

My fabulous supervisors are Martin Delatycki and Monique Ryan.


And what will you be doing post-PhD?

I am delighted to have been awarded an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship and hope to be doing part-time clinical work and part-time post-doctorate research from 2014 onwards.


Congratulations, that is great. So why did you decide to do research in a PhD?

It has always been on my radar, even when I first spoke to Andrew Kornberg as a junior resident in Neurology. I think it has always been something I wanted to do.


What are the main skills you have acquired in your research?

I learnt how to do research properly with larger prospective projects, develop critical and independent thinking, and now have a much better understanding of statistical methods and study design. I think doing a PhD also provides time to do a different ‘type of thinking’.


You trained at Sick Kids Toronto, what was it like and do you think everyone should train abroad at some stage in their training?

It was a great experience in learning and in life. It was great to meet other people and I learnt that there are “different ways to skin a cat” in paediatric neurology. Toronto is a very international city and I had a lot of fun.


Where is your favourite eating place in Melbourne?

My favourite place is a very cool modern Thai place on Flinders Lane in Melbourne called “Chin Chin”. It has a pink neon rabbit, great atmosphere, and its meaning in Japanese is part of male anatomy…I’m not sure if that was the intention of the owners! Typical of trendy places, you of course can’t book and I admit to have waited 2 ½ hours (just once!!) for the privilege of eating there!


Thanks Eppie, good luck with your PhD submission.