Kat leads the UNSW Centre in Single Molecule Science at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre.
She is a trained physicist with a PhD in biotechnology from the University of Cambridge in the UK. Her specialty is super-resolution microscopy, which she uses to study how T cells make decisions on actions such as moving, secreting signalling compounds such as cytokines or committing suicide. She has been collaborating with a renowned German manufacturer of optical systems, Carl Zeiss AG in developing a super-resolution fluorescence microscope that can image molecules within living cells.
Together with Justin Gooding and Peter Reece, colleagues at UNSW, Kat was one of the finalists for the Eureka Prize for Excellence in Scientific Research in 2014, for developing an optical device that can monitor the activity of a single cell. She was awarded the NH&MRC Achievement Award (Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship, 2014 – 2018), the Khwarizmi International Award (2018), the New South Wales Science and Engineering Award for Excellence in Biological Sciences (2013), and the Gottschalk Medal from the Australian Academy of Science (2012).