ALUMNI SUCCESS

Our inspiring alumni are shaping the future of immunology and imaging through their research, innovation and industry collaborations.

 

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.”