- Ms Serena Ekman
- Ms Sandra Sowah
- Ms Dinora Roche Recinos
- Ms Nadya Panagides
- Mr Michael MacDonald
- Ms Ruby Pelingon
- Ms Eunike (Nysa) McGowan
- Ms Katelyn Richards
- Ms Kristina Pleitt
Ms Serena Ekman
RHD STUDENT - AUSTRLALIAN RED CROSS BLOOD SERVICE PROJECTSPROJECT: Isolation of novel typing antibodies that bind hybrid glycophorin on red blood cells Serena Ekman is a PhD student, who is currently undertaking her studies in a collaborative effort between the Brisbane Australian Red Cross Blood Service precinct and the ARC Training Centre in Biopharmaceutical Innovation at the AIBN for her project Isolation of novel typing antibodies that bind hybrid glycophorin on red blood cells. Serena has recently completed her degree in Advanced Science from the University of New South Wales majoring in Biotechnology and Microbiology, as well achieving a first class honors at the Garvan Medical Research Institute. She has also participated in a variety of science communication and volunteering events such as the Australian Museum Science Festival, presenting a biotechnology startup for the Peter Farrell Cup Pitching Competition, and volunteering with the Young Scientists of Australia.
QualificationsBSc Advanced Science (Biotechnology/Microbiology), University of New South Wales.
Ms Sandra Sowah
RHD STUDENT - AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS BLOOD SERVICE PROJECTSPROJECT: Identifying novel red blood cell targets as a basis for development of biopharmaceuticals for treatment of infectious diseases Sandra A. Sowah is a trained biochemist with research and teaching experience. She obtained her degree in biochemistry from the University of Ghana where she completed her Bachelor of Science and Master of Philosophy trainings respectively. She has also completed a short internship program at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research in 2014, as part of their Next Generation Scientists program. There she worked mainly on establishing a degranulation assay. For her master’s level dissertation, she evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube assay for detection of tuberculosis in contacts of TB patients. She has also worked on several projects in different fields, with particular focus on laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases. Notably, she has profiled host immunological responses to recently discovered, differentially expressed Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteins from exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis to active TB disease in a case-contact study in Ghana. Sandra’s research interests are:
- Laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases
- Immunology of infectious diseases
- Vaccine development
QualificationsBSc and MPhil in Biochemistry, University of Ghana.
Ms Dinora Roche Recinos
RHD STUDENT - CSL CHARACTERISATION PROJECTPROJECT: Comparability studies of biopharmaceuticals produced by fed-batch or perfusion culture Dinora Roche Recinos graduated with honors as a Biochemist and microbiologist from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. Later on, she obtained an Australian Award Scholarship (AUSAid), to pursue her masters degree in Biotechnology at the University of Queensland. For her thesis work, at the Australian Institute of Bioengeneering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), she worked on Production and characterization of protein scaffolds specifically presenting peptides that target VEGFR-2 and EGFR for Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). She was also awarded with the Summer School Scholarship at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain, for a genomics fellowship. She is currently working as an university lecturer and associate researcher as well as Technical coordinator of the Plant Protection Laboratory of the Center for Agricultural and Food Technology Studies at the Research Institute of Universidad del Valle de Guatemala.
QualificationsBSc in Biochemistry/Microbiology, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. M.Sc in Biotechnology, University of Queensland
Ms Nadya Panagides
RHD STUDENT - CSL DISCOVERY PROJECTPROJECT: Isolation and characterisation of novel antibodies against cell-surface biomarkers Nadya Panagides obtained her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences with a sub-major in Genetics from the University of Queensland. She successfully completed two summer semester research projects and her honours degree in the Venom Evolution Laboratory, working with Dr Bryan Fry. Her venoms based research involved proteomically characterising a variety of African viper and cobra venoms, and for her honours thesis in particular, assessing their toxicological activity and potential as anti-cancer agents. She continued her work with venom toxins by volunteering at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, by working in Dr John Miles’ Human Immunity Laboratory under the supervision of Dr Maria Ikonomopoulou. She began to develop a keen interest in immunology and started working as a Research Assistant in Dr Barbara Rolfe's laboratory at the AIBN, where her research focus shifted to cancer immunology, and more specifically the role of complement components C3a and C5a in tumour progression. Recently, Nadya was awarded the ARC Training Centre in Biopharmaceutical Innovation PhD scholarship. Her project will involve developing platform methodologies for antibody discovery against membrane proteins.
QualificationsBSc in Biomedical Sciences (Genetics), University of Queensland.
Mr Michael MacDonald
RHD STUDENT - PATHEON UPSTREAM BIOPROCESSING PROJECTSPROJECT: Cell line development for high cell density culture Michael MacDonald is a Biological Engineer pursuing a career in pharma R&D. He graduated from the University of Queensland in 2014 with a master's degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering with honours. As an undergraduate researcher, Michael has worked in human stem cell culture and microbioreactor design, and has been published for work on immunoglobulin profiling and assay development for saliva-based matrices. Michael has transferred from the downstream process department Patheon Biologics Brisbane to pursue a PhD centred on cell line development for the Patheon XD proces.
QualificationsMasters Degree with Honours in Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Queensland
Ms Ruby Pelingon
RHD STUDENT - CSL CHARACTERISATION PROJECTSPROJECT: Engineering and production of recombinant proteins with appropriate glycostructures for early in vivo studies Ruby Pelingon will be joining Dr. Benjamin Schulz team at Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology around mid this year (2017) to study PhD titled “Engineering and production of recombinant proteins with appropriate glycostructures for early in vivo studies”. Currently, she is still working at Institute for Molecular Bioscience, with the Cooper group, as a research assistant undertaking ADME/PK studies for the NLRP3 inhibitor project. Prior to this, Ruby worked at Interphil Laboratories responsible for analytical method development and validation. She received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree from Silliman University.
QualificationsBSc in Chemistry, Silliman University
Ms Eunike (Nysa) McGowan
RHD STUDENT - APA SCHOLARSHIP ON AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS BLOOD SERVICE PROJECTSPROJECT: Applying biotechnology to improve management of alloimmunisation to RhD in patients and donors - Keeping the gift of giving going Nysa’s Honours project on developing an assay to quantify sheep inflammatory cytokines was a collaboration between the Critical Care Research Group at the Prince Charles Hospital and Australian Red Cross Blood Service. Nysa’s Honours project also received a New Investigator grant from The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation. This assay would help characterise the inflammatory response in an animal model of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) receiving transfusion with either fresh or old blood. Upon completion of Nysa’s Honours, Nysa was then employed by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service as a Research Assistant. For just over three years in this position, she gained knowledge and laboratory skills in resolving the complexities of blood typing the RhD antigen when there is a gene variant. As a PhD student, Nysa will be continuing to explore the realm of blood typing with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and ARC Training Centre for Biopharmaceutical Innovation at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology.
QualificationsBachelor of Applied Science (Medical Science) and Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours), Queensland University of Technology.
Ms Katelyn Richards
RHD STUDENT - APA SCHOLARSHIP ON AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS BLOOD SERVICE PROJECTSPROJECT: Applying biotechnology to improve management of alloimmunisation to RhD in patients and donors - Keeping the gift of giving going Katelyn graduated from UQ with a BE/BSc in 2013, where she majored in Chemical and Biological Engineering and Genetics. She completed her BSc(hons) with a specialisation in Biochemistry in 2014 and developed thermostable Cytochrome P450 enzymes for drug development. He research interests include, broadly, protein biochemistry, enzymology and recombinant expression systems. She recently started her PhD in partnership with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service where her research focuses on carbohydrate modification systems in mice and how these systems impact red blood cell surface antigens and their role in disease resistance. In her spare time, Katelyn enjoys sewing, millinery, fashion design and regularly competes in Fashions on the Field events.
QualificationsBE/BSc in Chemical and Biological Engineering and Genetics, University of Queensland.
Ms Kristina Pleitt