Having the opportunity to recently connect with students at Cornish College was an amazing experience and I’m excited to be able to share my journey since school again.’
Brett Drummond’s (CC2002) trailblazing spirit can perhaps be traced back to his time at Cornish, where he was appointed a school captain, in one of the College’s first Year 10 cohorts.
Finishing his International Baccalaureate in 2002, Brett went on to complete a Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree at the University of Melbourne. In his Honours year, Brett was fortunate enough to work in a research laboratory on a project related to multiple sclerosis (MS). ‘It is fair to say that this moment, and everything that followed it, were not in my plans when I was at high school.’
Having enjoyed a taste of medical research, Brett stayed on for a number of years, investigating a range of potential causes of MS. Although he found this work very rewarding, it lacked the personal connection that he craved. As he discussed with the students recently at Alumni Connect, ‘it is so important to always take opportunities that arise, even if you aren’t sure where they may lead.’ For Brett, this meant gaining experience in areas that were complementary to his research background. This included working part time as a
science communicator, and teaching in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Melbourne, ‘two areas that I also thought I would never be involved in!’
This combination of skills and experience led Brett to a life-changing decision in 2012. In partnership with his brother, Eric (also a former Cornish College student), the pair founded their own company called MStranslate.
MStranslate is a social enterprise that aims to make a big difference to the lives of people living with MS. Brett and Eric do this by providing timely and easy to understand information on MS research through published literature, an international network, and conference participation. The pair are very passionate about this work and receive feedback from the community that tells them that their efforts are highly valued. Far too often, there are reports in mainstream media of the latest research being a ‘cure’ for multiple sclerosis. These distortions lead to many difficult conversations with a community of people that are desperate for valid information and
support. Thankfully, many people in the MS community now use MStranslate as a valuable resource, not only for information, but also as a safe place where they can ask any questions that they may have about MS research.
Brett is thankful for his experiences at Cornish College, as he believes learning in such a unique environment helped to foster a desire to always explore new opportunities and take the road less travelled. ‘I hope that this message came across to the students I talked to recently and they also continue to strive to create their own journeys.’
More recently, Brett has been involved in running the science communication platforms for the Melbourne Brain Centre and is the co-author of the new VCE Biology and Chemistry textbooks that are about to be released
by Cambridge University Press.
For anyone interested in MStranslate or science communication in general, Brett would love to hear from you. Please feel free to look at the online platforms (easily found through Google or social media platforms by searching for “MStranslate”) or get in contact with Brett directly via email firstname.lastname@example.org
This story featured in the Winter 2021 edition of The Difference