Funding enabled us to bring in more students and early-mid career researchers, train them in an interdisciplinary environment, and facilitate career progression in academia and industry. We had impressive cohorts of students and postgraduate completions, now employed across various sectors – both in Australia and internationally. These young researchers are our greatest pride and most important legacy. They will shape the future of imaging and immunology globally.
Dr Elizabeth Hinde
Currently an NHMRC Career Development Fellow and holding the Jacob Haimson and Beverly Mecklenburg Lectureship in the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne, Elizabeth began her work in the Imaging CoE under the mentorship of Deputy Director Prof. Kat Gaus. She now leads her own laboratory at the University of Melbourne Node. Elizabeth completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne and was then recruited to the University of California to pursue a post-doctoral fellowship under the mentorship of Prof. Enrico Gratton. She returned to Australia to work in Prof. Kat Gaus’ lab. In the Single Molecule Science, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Node, Elizabeth established a research program which investigated live-cell nuclear organisation. This work was recognised by the US Biophysical Society with the 2014 Young Fluorescence Investigator Award and the Australian Society of Biophysics with the 2016 McAulay-Hope Prize for Original Biophysics.Elizabeth is an Associate Investigator to the Centre and is leading a laboratory at the University of Melbourne. She works on the development of microscopy methods to quantify DNA binding protein dynamics and uses this technology to dissect the role of nucleus architecture in facilitating navigation of the genome.
“The ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging is an extremely valuable forum to interact with biologists and physicists from other institutes around Australia, who are working with imaging technology probing an entirely different spatiotemporal scale.”
Dr Hannah Coughlan
Hannah is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the bioinformatics division with Professor Gordon Smyth at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. She uses computation methods to explore the impact of DNA structure on immune cell function. Hannah joined the Imaging CoE in 2013 to undertake a PhD with Prof. Brian Abbey and Dr Connie Darmanin at La Trobe University. During her PhD she developed methods for protein crystallography.
“During my PhD with the Imaging CoE, I developed computational and data analysis skills that I was able to apply to biological-based research questions. Through the Centre, I collaborated with a wide range of scientists including many biologists from different institutes and research areas. I have continued in this direction with my first postdoctoral position in bioinformatics that applies computational skills to medical research. I feel that the work I did with the Imaging CoE of applying physics to biology and communicating between both areas of research prepared me for the job I have today.”
Dr Jessica Rowley
Jessica is a mass spectrometry specialist at Jealott’s Hill International Research Centre, Syngenta Ltd. She completed her PhD in the Imaging CoE under the supervision of Prof. David Fairlie at the IMB, University of Queensland. Jessica significantly improved the potency and metabolic stability of small molecule ligands of the C3a receptor, leading to potential anti-inflammatory therapeutics, and developed potent labelled ligands for C3aR which may enable visualisation of the interaction between C3a-mimetics and C3aR on cells and disease models in vivo. Since completing her PhD in 2017, Jessica accepted a postdoctoral position at the University of Oxford where she worked on treatments for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Currently, Jessica deciphers complex MS fragmentation pathways generated in complex matrices and uses her medicinal chemistry background to determine the structure of metabolites and degradants generated as part of safety and regulatory studies on new crop protection products.
“The Imaging CoE was a fantastic means of connecting research from different fields of science towards a common goal. I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderful researchers. I particularly enjoyed attending the Imaging CoE Summits in 2015 and 2016.”
Dr Henry Kirkwood
Currently a researcher at European XFEL in Hamburg Germany, Henry completed his PhD in the Imaging CoE’s La Trobe University Node in 2018. He uses the scientific connections that he established during his PhD, in his role at XFEL today. During his PhD, Henry developed methods in engineering and materials science characterisation using synchrotron X-ray and neutron sources, while holding an Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) postgraduate research award. Henry is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Single Particles, Clusters and Biomolecules and Serial Femtosecond Crystallography (SPB/SFX) instrument of the European XFEL, where he is developing methods for structure determination and imaging of nanoscale objects for studying the dynamics of biological and materials science systems.
“I work at XFELS now because of Imaging CoE networks and the researchers that I met while I completed my PhD. It is really important to be part of a larger research group such as the Imaging CoE and learn from researchers that have international links. The Centre gave me this opportunity.”
Dr Samuel Perry
Samuel is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School. He completed his PhD in in the Imaging CoE under the supervision of Prof. David Fairlie at the IMB, University of Queensland. His thesis was entitled, “Towards Cell Permeable Modulators of Protein-Protein Interactions”. Samuel’s scientific interests include developing pharmacological strategies for understanding and targeting proteins that are important in disease using ultra-high throughput technologies. At Harvard Medical School, he currently uses new chemical tools to study and manipulate protein-protein interactions in cancer.
“Contributing to these cutting-edge collaborative discoveries has helped me grow as a scientist and continues to inspire me to this day.”
Dr Catarinna Almeida
Dr Almeida is currently an ECR in Prof. Godfrey’s group at The Melbourne University Node, she has acquired vast experience over the last 11 years in the field of NKT cell biology, including a MSc from the Uni Lisbon, Portugal(2009), where she studied the functional potential of Type I NKT cells and their impact on immune-mediated diseases, and a PhD from The University of Melbourne (2015). During the last 9 years in the lab of Prof. Godfrey, Dr Almeida has been instrumental in revealing that NKT cells display greater diversity than previously appreciated and in developing new tools to study them. Her research strength is evidenced by the number of original research publications(14-including leading peer-reviewed journals), citations(>700), presentation prizes(5), travel bursaries(8) and 2 PCT-patent applications. More recently she has received 2 small grants to investigate the role of NKT cells in sulfa-drug hypersensitivity.
Dr Almeida actively engages on presenting her research (11 poster, 8 oral) at international(9) and national(20) scientific meetings. She often takes on leadership roles including lab supervision of research assistants and students, and being the co-chair for the ECR-network of the Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences(2018-19), coordinating the Doherty Institute’s seminar series in the ‘Immunology-Theme’(2018-current), being an organising committee member of scientific symposiums (including Victorian Young Investigator Symposium, Public Day of Immunology, the Faculty’s ECR symposium (2017-current for all). She also has a key interest in research translation/commercialisation and for that has pursued an internship with the IP/TT team at The University of Melbourne.
“Thanks to the Imaging CoE support I was able to explore an unexpected finding during the course of my initial project enabling what research is all about – discovery! I’m also very thankful for all the opportunities to present my research and connect with such a diverse range of researchers with various backgrounds. I’ve also been fortunate to participate in the CoE mentorship program which encouraged me to pursue some of my interests in science translation.”
Dr Baharak Mahyad
Dr Baharak is a systems microscopist and completed her PhD in the Imaging CoE under the supervision of Prof. Katharina Gaus and Dr. John Lock at the EMBLE node of Australia at UNSW. During her PhD, she developed a novel integrated microscopy strategy accompanied by a state-of-art image processing and statistical analysis workflow with the aim of multiscale investigation of T cell activation. Her thesis is a finalist for the Dean’s Award for Outstanding PhD Theses from the School of Medical science of UNSW. Freshly after her doctorate completion, Baharak was recruited by Nikon Australia as a microscopy application specialist to consult researchers in life science with suitable microscopy procedures and assist them with their research in this regard.
“The Imaging CoE provided a wonderful and friendly environment for the researcher from different research groups to freely discuss science and acquire new knowledge. As a PhD student, I enjoyed attending every single one of the CoE summits and besides growing as a scientist, I made long-lasting friendships with other PhD students and postdocs during these meetings. Expanding my professional and personal network was one of the best outcomes of these meetings that I benefited from during this period in my career.”
Dr Yu Alex Kato
Currently a Scientific Associate in Prof. Shane Crotty’s laboratory at La Jolla Institute for Immunology in San Diego, California, where he conducts his research in B cell immunity in the context of COVID-19 and HIV vaccines. Alex completed his PhD in 2017 at the imaging CoE in The University of Melbourne Node in The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity under the supervision of Prof. Bill Heath, Prof. Irina Caminschi, and Prof. Scott Mueller. During his PhD, Alex studied in vivo cellular interactions between dendritic cells, B cells and T cells using two-photon microscopy.
Since completing his PhD in 2017, Alex accepted a postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Prof. Shane Crotty. There, he started studying effects of antigen valency, antigen affinity, and adjuvants on fitness of B cells in the context of HIV vaccination using his expertise in intravital imaging. During this time, he published several papers in high-impact journals including Immunity and Nature Medicine as well as mentoring several PhD students.
“During my PhD I was able to access world-class imaging resources and get unique opportunities to interact with brilliant scientists from a broad spectrum of disciplines in the imaging CoE. The skills I gained through the imaging CoE were highly sought-after, enabling me to secure exciting career opportunities overseas. The knowledge I gained through the imaging CoE were invaluable, enabling me to approach scientific problems creatively.”
Dr Jyh Liang
Currently a Visiting Fellow at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH – National Institutes of Health, US. At the NIH, Jyh Liang combines his intravital imaging experience with advanced multiplex tissue microscopy to develop new methods for mapping cell-cell interactions between phenotypically and functionally diverse immune cell types in vivo.
Jyh Liang completed his PhD at the imaging CoE in The University of Melbourne Node in The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity under the supervision of Prof. Bill Heath and Profs. Scott Mueller. During his studies Jyh Liang utilized state-of-the-art multi-photon microscopy to visualize dynamic immune cell interactions in lymphoid tissues to understand the complex orchestration of T cell activation during infection.
“The Imaging CoE provided me with a unique opportunity not only to conduct my research using cutting edge imaging technologies but also allowed me a network of researchers that fosters cross-disciplinary collaborations towards uncovering the biology of the immune system.”
Dr Felix Deuss
Currently a senior scientist at oNKo-Innate, a Melbourne-based discovery stage immunotherapy startup, Felix Deuss began his career at the Imaging Centre of Excellence under the supervision of Prof. Jamie Rossjohn within the Monash University Biomedical Discovery Institute. Felix is now working on cutting-edge immune manipulation techniques involving biologics and cell therapies for the treatment of cancer. During his PhD, Felix solved the structures of three clinically important immune checkpoint receptors known as the nectin receptors. After receiving his doctorate in 2018, Felix was selected for a prestigious talent-exchange between Monash University and Janssen Pharmaceutica based in Beerse, Belgium. There he worked in the computational chemistry department designing small molecule inhibitors to immune checkpoint receptors. Felix completed his undergraduate studies at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand.
“I was offered many opportunities through the Imaging CoE, including the opportunity to perform cutting-edge research at world-class facilities, present my research at the CoE Summits and meet internationally renowned scientists. I am very grateful to have been a part of it.”