Happy International Women’s Day!
We are proud of our team of amazing women whose expert contributions and achievements are creating an impact in Precision Medicine
Get to know more about them below
International Women’s Day (IWD), marked annually on March 8th, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Tina Cardamone is the Manager for the Phenomics Australia Histopathology Node at The University of Melbourne.
Her research portfolio focus aims to provide systematic necropsy and histopathology services
to biomedical researchers across Australia for the evaluation and phenotyping of modified, treated or genetically engineered mice at all developmental stages.
With her background in diagnostic anatomical pathology and mouse pathobiology, Tina provides mouse phenotyping expertise to enhance biomedical research outcomes.
Ms Tina Cardamone
Manager of Histopathology And Digital Slide Service Unit - The University Of Melbourne.
Lin Tai is a Research Assistant for the Phenomics Australia Melbourne Advanced Genome Editing Centre (MAGEC) node at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical research.
Her research portfolio focus aims to oversee the development of novel, molecular biology techniques to be used in enhancing the MAGEC laboratory’s gene editing workflow.
With her background in molecular biology, Lin is involved in the rapid generation of gene-editing reagents, the subsequent detection and validation of precise gene-targeting events and is constantly striving to increase the efficiency of the laboratory’s operations.
Ms Lin Tai
Research Assistant for the Advanced Genome Editing Centre (MAGEC) - Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical research.
Karla Cowley is a senior research assistant for the Phenomics Australia Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Her research portfolio focus aims to deliver screening support and to drive and implement novel methods of cellular phenotyping using complex image analysis tools.
With her background in cell biology, imaging and analysis, Karla works on providing data analysis for all types of screen applications and she manages the VCFG confluence site housing all research projects.
Ms Karla Cowley
Senior research assistant for the Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics - Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Emily Gracie is a Histologist for the Phenomics Australia Histopathology node at The University of Melbourne.
Her research portfolio focus aims to enhance biomedical research projects by providing necropsy, histopathology, and digital slide scanning services.
With her background in histology and diagnostic molecular microbiology, Emily provides support and expertise in the evaluation of genetically modified or treated mice.
Ms Emily Gracie
Histologist at the Histopathology And Digital Slide Service Unit - The University Of Melbourne.
Lona Dinha is a histologist for Phenomics Australia Histopathology node at the University of Melbourne.
Her research portfolio focus aims to provide necropsy, histopathology and digital slide scanning services to biomedical researchers across Australia for the evaluation of treated or genetically engineered mice at all developmental stages.
With her background in diagnostic anatomical pathology and animal histology, Lona provides support and expertise to enhance biomedical research outcomes.
Ms Lona Dinha
Histologist at the Histopathology And Digital Slide Service Unit - The University Of Melbourne.
Susanne Ramm is the 2iC Research Officer for the Phenomics Australia Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Her research portfolio focus aims to support and develop novel methodologies for screening and analysis of cells in 2D and 3D settings.
With her background in high content imaging, Susi works on supporting arrayed drug, CRISPR and RNAi screens to achieve novel target discovery and improving methods for sophisticated cellular phenotyping.
Dr Susanne Ramm
2iC Research Officer for the Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics - Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Aira Nuguid is a Senior Histologist for the Phenomics Australia Histopathology Node at The University of Melbourne.
Her research portfolio focus aims to provide necropsy, histopathology, and slide scanning services to biomedical researchers across Australia for the evaluation and phenotyping of modified, treated, or genetically engineered mice at all developmental stages.
With her background in translational research, and pathology testing, Aira provides mouse phenotyping expertise to support and enhance biomedical research.
Ms Aira Nuguid
Senior Histologist at the Histopathology And Digital Slide Service Unit - The University Of Melbourne.
Jennii Luu is the Lab Manager for the Phenomics Australia node Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Her research portfolio focus aims to support researchers accessing the VCFG through a whole range of screening applications. She is the automation specialist and is currently innovating and driving our automated 3D screening platform.
With her background in cell biology, Jennii supports researchers in assay development and experimental design to achieve their screening objectives.
Ms Jennii Luu
Lab Manager for the Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics - Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Dr Sandie Piltz is a Transgenic Coordinator for the Phenomics Australia SA Genome Editing Facility at SAHMRI/University of Adelaide.
Her research portfolio focus aims to generate mouse models for clients.
With her background in Transgenic Technology Sandie works on microinjection, embryo culture, embryo transfer surgery to achieve production of mouse models.
Dr Sandie Piltz
Transgenic Coordinator for the SA Genome Editing Facility - SAHMRI/University of Adelaide.
Ada Koo is a Research Officer for the Phenomics Australia Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Her research portfolio aims to develop novel screening methodologies to mine the microbiome in collaboration with the laboratories at Bio21 and the Doherty Institute, and Metabolomics Australia.
With her background in assay development, high throughput screening and neurogastroenterology, Ada also supports other research projects and instrument training.
Dr Ada Koo
Research Officer for the Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics - Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Dr. Pallavi Srivastava is a Research Scientist in the Stem Cell Production Facility within the Innovation Centre at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. She is an experienced Stem Cell Biologist and has worked with a variety of adult and pluripotent stem cells. Pallavi completed her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in 2022 within the School of Medical Sciences at UNSW, Sydney. Her Ph.D. involved developing biomaterials-based platforms to study the biophysical effects of hydrogel culture substrates on human pluripotent stem cells. She received a Master of Science (MSc) degree by research from All India Institute of Medical Sciences in 2014. She worked as a research assistant and lab manager at an evolutionary genetics lab in Nanyang Technological University (NTU. She completed her Honours degree from Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences, India in 2011 majoring in Genetic Engineering and completed the final year project for this degree at Genome Institute of Singapore. A*STAR, Singapore in 2011.
Dr Pallavi Srivastava
Research Scientist in the Stem Cell Production Facility within the Innovation Centre - Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
Dr Marina Trigueros joined Phenomics Australia in 2020 as a Communications and Outreach Coordinator bringing an in-depth knowledge of science communication.
Prior to joining Phenomics Australia, she founded and led Cariboo Design, a science communication studio devoted to explaining Scientific topics to broad audiences through illustrations and 3D animations.
She has worked in various research roles for the CSIRO and Spanish National Centre for Biotechnology, with a focus on projects using gene editing technologies.
Marina holds a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from the Institute for Plant Molecular and Cell Biology, a research center funded by both the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Spanish Research Council in Valencia, Spain.
She is a Board member of the Association of Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific and member of the National Science Week Coordination Committee for the ACT.
“Phenomics Australia is a great example of impactful teamwork collaboration. It is fulfilling working with such a diverse team of experts with the same enthusiasm for science, willing to go the extra mile to boost Australian research excellence and ultimately improve health outcomes worldwide.”
Dr Marina Trigueros
Communications and Outreach Coordinator - Phenomics Australia
Dr Twishi Gulati joined the Phenomics Australia team in the newly established National Service Coordinator (In Vitro) position. Since 2019, Twishi has been a Research Officer in the Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics (VCFG), a Phenomics Australia node at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. There she managed the CRISPR screening platform, supporting researchers from project design through to experimentation and analysis. More recently, she has been involved in the VCFG’s business development strategy and managing the iLAB instrument access and billing system. Twishi has a PhD in proteomics, molecular and cellular biology from The University of Melbourne.
“ I am excited to join the Phenomics Australia team to bring Australia-wide infrastructure and expertise together to work collaboratively across our in vitro capabilities to ultimately drive better healthcare outcomes.”
Dr Twishi Gulati
National Service Coordinator (In Vitro) - Phenomics Australia
Dr Amee George is a Fellow and Group Leader in the Genome Sciences and Cancer Division, and Manager of the ANU Centre for Therapeutic Discovery (ACTD), at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at The Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. She obtained her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2007, and during her career, developed a keen interest in high-throughput screening and the use of functional genomics-based approaches to investigate the molecular basis of disease, as well as identifying small molecule therapies for the treatment of disease. Her postdoctoral appointments have included the examining how angiotensin receptor signalling hijacks growth factor receptor pathways and leads to aberrant cell growth, as well as investigating how perturbations in ribosome biogenesis lead to the activation of the nucleolar surveillance response, which is an important molecular mechanism underlying some diseases of the ribosome (ribosomopathies), in particular, the congenital bone marrow failure disorder Diamond Blackfan Anaemia (DBA) as well as cancer. She has received funding from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Captain Courageous Foundation, Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision and Cancer Council ACT. Dr George has over 14 years’ experience in designing high-throughput screening assays and conducting high-throughput screens and with her role in the ACTD, works collaboratively with researchers to execute projects.
Dr Amee George
Head of ANU Centre for Therapeutic Discovery (ACTD) - Australian National University (ANU)
Dr Jinshu He has 20 years’ experience in immunology and cell-based technologies. Dr He received her PhD degree in Immunology from University of Alberta, Canada. Prior to joining the ANU Centre for Therapeutic Discovery (ACTD), she was a research scientist at Singapore Immunology Network, A*STAR. She joined the ACTD in 2017 and is currently a technologies specialist overseeing the 3D high-throughput and high-content screening capacity of ACTD, which is an In Vitro Technology service node for Phenomics Australia. Her research interests are CD8 T cell mediated killing, allergy and asthma, cancer immunotherapy, functional genomics and therapeutic discovery.
Dr Jinshu He
Technologies specialist of ANU Centre for Therapeutic Discovery (ACTD) - Australian National University (ANU)
Dr. Sara Howden is a recognized leader in human reprogramming and genome engineering technologies. As a National Health and Medical Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin, working with Professor James Thomson, she established an improved episomal reprogramming system, enabling the efficient generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from human fibroblasts using xeno-free conditions. She has extensive experience with genome engineering technologies and was the first to report targeted gene repair in patient-specific iPSCs. She has subsequently developed novel Cas9 variants for improved gene-editing outcomes and a one-step protocol that enables the rapid and efficient generation of gene-edited iPSC from human skin or blood. These methodologies have been adopted by many researchers in the international stem cell research community and are routinely applied within the MCRI Gene-editing Core Facility, which was established by Dr. Howden in 2017 and has generated hundreds of custom edited iPSC lines for researchers locally and internationally. Dr. Howden has also generated a large variety of lineage-specific reporter lines which has led to improved methods for the directed differentiation of iPSC-derived cell types and tissues. Many of these resources have been widely distributed and are publicly available through the facility.
Dr Sara Howden
Head of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) Derivation & CRISPR Gene Editing Facility - Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI)
A/Prof Kaylene Simpson is a molecular cell biologist who has headed the VCFG for 14 years. She has a wealth of experience in assay development and data interpretation and contributes intellectually to all projects. She supports a team of highly experienced scientists to deliver project management and training across a wide range of functional genomics applications including CRISPR, RNAi and compound screening using 2D and 3D models. Her team develop new technologies, tools and custom analysis algorithms and she is committed to enabling researchers access and guidance to ensure the best project outcome. She has initiated and coordinated an annual national conference, Functional High Throughput Technologies Australia since 2010 (www.fhtta.com). She is a founding member and past President of the Society of Biomolecular Imaging and Informatics, www.sbi2.org. She is currently an Associate Editor for Cancer Research Communications, with an emphasis on FAIR data principles and data sharing.
A/Prof Kaylene Simpson
Head of Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics (VCFG) - Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (PeterMac)
Prof Janet Keast was recruited to the Chair of Anatomy and Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne in 2012, following her role as NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Director and Director of Basic Research at the Pain Management Research Institute, the University of Sydney at Royal North Shore Hospital.
Janet’s research is strongly based on functional anatomy and aims to understand at multiscale the connectivity and communication between neural networks and organ systems.
Her Research utilizes rodent models and clinical specimens and is currently focused on understanding the neural regulation of the urogenital system, and the impact of injury and disease on these circuits.
At Phenomics Australia, Janet leads a talented team of histopathologists who provides expert phenotyping services to researchers across Australia. These services include extensive, quality-controlled tissue preparation and histological processing, pathological analyses, and digital slide scanning for experimental mouse models.
We also partner internationally with PATHBIO, an EU Erasmus + Knowledge Program, to develop and promote training in precision pathology of disease models.
“Our team at Phenomics Australia has the expertise to perform detailed histopathology analyses across all of the organs of the body, providing researchers with fundamental insights into the biological processes underpinning disease. We have had the privilege of assisting with more than 500 projects across Australia since our inception in 2008 and look forward to continuing to build research outcomes in the future ”
Prof Janet Keast
Head of Histopathology And Digital Slide Service Unit - The University Of Melbourne.
Christine Wells is Professor of Stem Cell Systems and Director of the University of Melbourne Centre for Stem Cell Systems. She is a genome biologist with a focus on the differentiation and activation of mammalian cells, and a particular interest in the intersection between innate immunity and stem cell biology in tissue injury and repair.
She is the architect of the Stemformatics collaboration resource that encourages collaboration between stem cell researchers and bioinformaticians, biostatisticians and computational biologists.
Professor Wells graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of New England in 1988. She gained experience in stem cell sciences, genetics and genomics at various positions in Australia and at the UK Medical Research Council, MRC Harwell before undertaking postgraduate studies at The University of Queensland. She gained a Doctor of Philosophy in 2004. Over the past decade she has worked at Griffith University, The University of Glasgow and The University of Queensland, developing a program of research in genomics and bioinformatics, and the application of these to better understanding of stem cell biology, tissue injury and repair. She leads a program of research that encompasses three pillars of impact and output: (1) the development and direction of community-focused collaboration platforms to enable adoption of omic data by clinicians and stem cell biologists. (2) Method development in the integration, analysis and visualisation of genomic datasets and (3) strategic application to projects that enable gene discovery and characterisation in both stem cell biology and innate immunity. Her laboratory works to the principle of biological insight through data accessibility and reproducibility and a founding ethos of her laboratory is collaboration.
Prof Christine Wells
Head of Centre for Stem Cell Systems - University of Melbourne (UMelb)
Dr Carol Wicking BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD has over 30 years’ experience in academic research both in Australia and internationally. In addition to her role as member of the Board of Phenomics Australia, and her role as the Science Advisor, she is a Chair of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee and a non-executive Director of Australia’s peak organization for rare disease, Rare Voices Australia.
“Following a long career in medical research, I am a passionate advocate for the importance of research in generation of knowledge, wealth and positive health outcomes. I therefore understanding and appreciate the value of a coordinated and collaborative national research infrastructure platform of the highest caliber and, through my role on the Board, am committed to ensuring Phenomics Australia remains a crucial link in this infrastructure pipeline”
Dr Carol Wicking
Scientific Advisor and Board Member - Phenomics Australia
Professor Ute Roessner AM FAA is the Academic Director, Research Initiatives and Infrastructure at the Australian National University. She obtained a PhD in Plant Biochemistry from the University of Potsdam and the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology, in 2001. Her research interests are to develop and apply metabolomics methods to study plants. In 2003 she moved to Australia where she established a metabolomics platform as part of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics. In 2007, she has been involved in the setup of Metabolomics Australia and led the University of Melbourne node until 2019. Between 2018 and 2022, Professor Roessner was the Head of School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne. Prof Roessner is a Lifetime Honorary Fellow of the International Metabolomics Society. She has been elected to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2020 and in 2021 has been appointed as Member of the Order of Australia. In 2022, she was elected as a Fellow to the Australian Academy of Science.
"I am pleased to be able to join the Phenomics Australia team and play an important collaborative role contributing to the synergy between several health-related NCRIS members in their interactions with stakeholders and researchers"
Prof Ute Roessner
Board Member - Phenomics Australia
Professor Helen Abud is a developmental biologist who is interested in how organs form and the environmental influences that regulate stem cells in normal tissues and tumours. Her laboratory utilises patient-derived organoids to investigate the role of stem cells in repair of the lining of the bowel, how infection can impact stem cells and personalised chemotherapy approaches for the treatment of cancer. Professor Abud is Head of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Co-head of the Development and Stem Cells Program and Director of the Organoid Program at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute. She is currently President of the Australian Society for Stem Cell Research. Professor Abud initially trained at WEHI before undertaking her doctorate at Oxford University in Developmental Biology. This was followed by postdoctoral training in the Department of Anatomy (Oxford), Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (Melbourne) before establishment of her research program at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute where she combines her passion of teaching and mentoring students with research.
Prof Helen Abud
Head of Monash Organoid Program - Monash University (Monash)
Sarah joined the Phenomics Australia team in 2022 as the Executive Assistant supporting the Phenomics Australia Executive, Board, Scientific Leadership Committee, and Node staff. She is an experienced Executive Assistant, having worked in similar roles for a number of years in the Public Service. Prior to joining the Phenomics Australia Team, she worked as a Program Officer supporting the due diligence process for the Government’s Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).
“As the Executive Assistant, I am delighted to be representing the Phenomics Australia team and providing high-level administrative and executive support. I hope via cultivating close working relationship amongst its many key contacts, I can assist in ensuring the NCRIS program achieve its high-impact healthcare outcomes in precision medicine.”
Ms Sarah Dreese
Executive Assistant - Phenomics Australia
Dr Louise Winteringham leads the Translational Cancer Research Program at the Perkins. She has an extensive background in immunology and haematology focusing on the molecular and cellular biology of cancer, in particular haematological cancers.
She completed her MSc in the Department of Clinical Immunology at Royal Perth Hospital investigating the impact of non-coding regions within the Major Histocompatibility Complex. Following three years working at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, Louise was awarded the Richard Walter Gibbon Fellowship from the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at UWA to undertake her PhD so she returned to Perth where she joined the Leukemia Laboratory at WAIMR, headed by Professor Peter Klinken. Louise continued her work in cancer research focusing on the biochemical and cellular mechanisms that drive oncogenesis. She has identified several novel genes associated with the development and progression of cancer. In 2017 she initiated the Translational Cancer Research Program at The Perkins, developing collaborations with pathologists and surgeons to provide a co-ordinated approach to quickly move laboratory discoveries into cancer treatments. As part of this program, she has established pre-clinical models able to accurately evaluate new cancer treatments that modulate our own immune systems to fight cancer. These models are also being used to develop precision oncology medicine in combination with several omics technologies.
Dr Louise Winteringham
Head of Translational Cancer Research Program - Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (Perkins)
Prof. Alice Pébay obtained a PhD in Neurosciences from the University of Paris VI in 2001 and subsequently joined Professor Martin Pera at Monash University to undertake research on human pluripotent stem cells. She then continued her research in this area at the University of Melbourne where she commenced in 2007. Alice’s team aims to use patient specific pluripotent stem cells to model neurodegenerative diseases of the eye and brain. Alice has a proven track record in generating iPSCs and differentiating them into various cell types for disease modelling including those affecting the central nervous system and the eye. Alice and her collaborators have pioneered the use of automation for human pluripotent stem cell research in Australia, enabling the streamlining generation and maintenance of iPSC-derived cells from hundreds of patients. Alice was awarded a National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career development Fellowship in 2012, subsequently an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship in 2014 and is now a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow. Alice is the primary inventor of three granted international patents related to stem cell technology.
Prof Alice Pébay
Head of Stem Cell Disease Modelling Laboratory - University of Melbourne (UMelb)
Dr Liz Jazwinska PhD, MBA, GAICD, BSc Hons is experienced in R&D innovation, technology and business development and has held senior executive position in Academia, Industry and Government in Australia and Internationally. In addition to her role as Chair of the Board of Phenomics Australia, Liz assists several not-for-profit organisations in Australia and New Zealand to build strategy and deliver socio-economic benefit.
“Phenomics Australia plays a key role in driving economic growth through its support of excellence and innovation in the Australian research sector. As the current and inaugural chair of the Governance Board (2016-2019), I am delighted to continue to contribute through my membership of the Board to the ongoing strategic growth and development of this highly relevant and valuable national infrastructure facility.”
Dr Liz Jazwinska
Phenomics Australia Chair and Board Member
Professor Sally Dunwoodie BSc PhD FAHMS is an internationally renowned biomedical researcher investigating the genetic and environmental causes of birth defects, and Deputy Director at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. She is Director of the VCCRI Innovation Centre which provides researchers with access to equipment and expertise in facilities that enable molecular, pre-clinical and clinical research.
“Collaboration and ready access to specialist platforms and expertise has a significant impact on the quality of research output, the speed with which it is generated, and the impact of the new information. Importantly it also provides crucial training opportunities across disciplines for researchers. Our partnering with Phenomics Australia to generate induced pluripotent stem cells will have many benefits for those engaged in medical research.”
Prof Sally Dunwoodie
Head of Stem Cell Production and Cell Function Screening Service - Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI), VCCRI Innovation Centre
Dr Susan Pond AM, FRSN FTSE FAHMS is an experienced leader in business & academia, recognized for her national & international contributions in science, technology and medicine.
Apart from her role as Board member of Phenomics Australia, Susan chairs the New South Wales Smart Sensing Network and is non-executive director of several listed, private and not-for-profit organisations.
“I was a member of the Australian Government’s National Research Infrastructure Review in 2015 and continue to promote the strong case for investing in excellent research infrastructure through my membership of the Phenomics Australia Board.”