Life Sciences Chapter - Committee Members



 

Melissa Sykes  (Chair)

Melissa is a Research Fellow in Discovery Biology at the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University and has over 16 years experience developing and establishing in vitro high throughput assays for application in early drug discovery. Her current research utilises image-based technology to identify the activity of new compounds against the protozoan parasite that causes Chagas disease, Trypanosoma cruzi. Melissa is involved in early career research committees in addition to outreach and mentoring roles and is particularly interested in supporting and encouraging professional development for careers in science and technology.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-sykes-811b2b19/



 

Nasim Amiralian 

Nasim Amiralian is an Advance Queensland Research Fellow in the area of nanomaterials engineering in Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland. While passionate about fundamental science and engineering, Nasim is strongly focused on pursuing commercial endeavours associated with her research area. This includes working with industry partners to advance and translate her research into products that will benefit the economy and strengthen Australia's position in the global market.  Nasim’s research has been instrumental in fostering linkages and delivering job opportunities for Indigenous Australians.  She is passionate about inspiring the next generation of young scientists and has been instrumental in development of a culture of collaboration and career support for UQ's next generation of research leaders. Her vision is to help different committees to create a program that enables all early and mid-career researchers to reach their career goals and achieve research excellence.       

au.linkedin.com/in/nasimamiralian

 

 

Catherine Kim

Catherine is a PhD Candidate and an XL Catlin Oceans Scholar at the University of Queensland.  Her research focuses on coral reef ecology of Timor-Leste and has the privilege of gathering baseline coral reef phototransects across the Indo-Pacific with the XL Catlin Seaview Survey.  The project also collects 360 degree, underwater imagery which can be viewed as ‘virtual diving’ on Google StreetView.  Catherine enjoys science outreach and communication and is a Young Science Ambassador through the Wonders of Science Program at UQ.  Previously, she worked for Professor Drew Harvell at Cornell University working on coral disease in Hawai‘i and seagrass wasting disease in the San Juan Islands after graduating with a BS in Science of Earth Systems.



 

Dr. Kinnari Shelat

Dr Kinnari possesses PhD in material science from University of South Australia, with expertise in providing consulting and problem solving to different clients ranging from PhD students, postdocs and industry. Presently, I have dual role at the University of Queensland, Senior Professional officer at AIBN, ANFF-Q and Research fellow at QAAFI.  My role involves varied responsibilities; training & supervision of PhD students, designing & implementing various experiments and providing ‘tailor-made’ solutions for a range of different types of samples from food to minerals particularly for characterising complex structure and surface properties using RAMAN, FTIR and AFM.  She currently plays a role of nexus between food industry and material science, which allows her to identify gaps within food product development and provides a platform to apply material science analytical techniques to generate unique information in the field of food microstructure and properties. She is also an active member of polymer division of RACI & Women in Technology. 

au.linkedin.com/in/kinnari-shelat-3833a99a



 

Dr. Ilaria Stefani

Ilaria was awarded her PhD in Bioengineering in 2014 with a project developed in collaboration between Politecnico di Milano and  AIBN UQ.  In 2013 she moved to Brisbane to complete her studies and after defending her thesis in Italy in 2014 she came back to Australia.  Ilaria is now a Research Group Operations Manager and a Postdoctoral fellow at UQ AIBN and has 8 years’ experience in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine research and 2 years’ experience in research project budgeting and management.  She has always been interested in research translation and to study collaboration between academia and industries she enrolled in the Advance master course in Bioengineering system with the MIT/Portugal alliance.  She is also interested in helping ECRs developing their future, Ilaria has been involved in the young researchers community as a representative of PhD students in Politecnico di Milano PhD School, as chair of the AIBN ECR committee and treasurer of Brisbane Early Career Researchers Life Science Symposium 2016 and 2017.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ilaria-stefani-77149b25/



 

Laura Puk

Laura is a PhD candidate focusing on coral reef ecology at the University of Queensland.  Her research seeks to understand the interaction between harmful macroalgae and herbivorous fish in order to advance fisheries management to increase the health of coral reefs. She has worked as a research assistant in marine microbial science, zoology and social-ecological systems analysis for over three years while pursuing her undergraduate and graduate degrees, the latter she finished with distinctions.  During her studies she also volunteered on a number of conservation and sustainability projects and was also lucky enough to be a scholar of the German National Academic Foundation.  She is passionate about applying science towards sustainable environmental management and about making science accessible and understandable to everyone.



 


 


Elke Kaemmerer

Elke is a Research Fellow in the Discovery Biology group as part of the Cancer Therapeutics CRC team at Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD), Griffith University.  In her current role, she is establishing and applying cell-based and biochemical high throughput screening assays to identify molecules with activity against cancer targets, which can be further developed into new cancer therapies.  Elke is a cell biologist with a PhD degree from TU Darmstadt, Germany and over 7 years multidisciplinary and international research experience. Elke is also part of the GRIDD early career research committee and is involved in various science outreach activities with the aim to make science visible to a broader community.

au.linkedin.com/in/elke-kaemmerer-a61429a4

 

 
 

Laura Lukin 

Laura Lukin is Director at Macu Design and is currently Member of the Smart Cities Council ANZ Built Environment Task Force. Laura's interdisciplinary skill sets have led to a dynamic career across education, design and built environment industries. Laura has worked for vocational education and training, multi-disciplinary design firm and member based organisations in Not-for-Profit and Private sectors. 



 

Audrey Bacconnier

Audrey has always been interested in Pharmaceuticals.  She graduated in 2014 in France with a Master's degree in Pharmaceutical Engineering: Formulation, Process and Production. Audrey worked as an Engineer and a Supervisor for the production of dry forms in the pharmaceutical industry for two years. After this experience in Belgium, she decided to look for new challenges overseas and came to Brisbane in May 2017. She is currently working as a Bioprocess Scientist at Patheon Biologics, Biopharmaceutical CDMO part of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

linkedin.com/in/audrey-bacconnier-80644067/

 


Laure Martine

Laure is a Senior Scientist and Program Manager at Ellume, an Australian based Health Technology company. In her current role she is working on the development of real-time diagnostics for doctors and consumers, and is involved in all design stages from concept creation through to product validation. She is passionate about her interdisciplinary work with real-world outcomes, and enjoys balancing project management with laboratory-based work. Previously, Laure was awarded her PhD and worked as a Research Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology in the field of Tissue Engineering. In her 5+ years academic research experience Laure has been involved in the research community through mentoring and volunteering roles, including as a member of the Science Outreach committee of the Australian Society for Medical Research.

linkedin.com/in/lauremartine/
   


Maria Nguyen

Maria is a senior research assistant that manages a multi-disciplinary biology research laboratory at Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University. Whilst she has extensive experience in neurodegenerative disorders and cancer research, her focus lies in laboratory and occupational workplace health and safety, where she has managed PC2, PC3 and BC2 facilities. Other strong skillsets also include managing and providing simple to comprehensive application training on various high end microscopes and laboratory equipment. Her motivation and ultimate reward is being able to facilitate HDR students and staff colleagues to achieve the best results in their projects. Maria’s enthusiasm for science and research is also demonstrated in the science outreach events she had helped organise and played pivotal roles in.

linkedin.com/in/maria-nguyen-b7a82891/
 
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