• Question: Why did you choose to work with radioactive materials to help people rather than save animals at animal rescue? Could you use the same idea of using the radioactive materials to help animals as well?

    Asked by jazz368gas to Laura on 9 Nov 2019.
    • Photo: Laura Sinclair

      Laura Sinclair answered on 9 Nov 2019:

      Very good question. At school I fell in love with science, and later on I heard about a special type of imaging called PET. PET is where matter and anti-matter collide and create two gamma rays that move back-to-back and are detected using a special machine. This type of imaging can tell us how things in the human body are working, without using invasive surgery. I thought this was very cool and interesting. So I did more research and found out that physicists can work at hospitals so I kept this type of career in mind. When a family member got sick, I did further research and found out the type of work physicists, which is mostly behind the scenes to help people get better. So I embarked on this career path.

      And… later on I found out this is all applicable to animals as well! So, vets can use X-ray imaging, nuclear medicine treatment, radiotherapy and all sorts to treat and diagnosis animals. Physicists are needed in a similar way, as they are in a hospital for this type of work. This is an area I would love to get involved in when I am more experienced.

      My ultimate goal when I retire is to open up an animal sanctuary. Meanwhile, I enjoy volunteering my spare time with animal charities and rescues. We have fostered 7 cats and 3 dogs, and sometimes I go to shelters abroad to help there. It keeps me busy, but it feels really worthwhile.

      Thank you for your question