Assoc Prof Traude Beilharz
My background was in yeast cell-biology, initially studying the trafficking of proteins to the subcellular organelles and the role that protein translation plays in this. Then came a move to the U.S.A. for a post-doctoral term in the renowned lab of Prof. Randy Schekman (UC-Berkeley). It was an experience and opportunity for which I will always be grateful. But I also grew up scientifically, realizing (a bit late) that in vitro reconstitution was not really my thing after all. I could appreciate it for all its elegance, but kept being drawn to the amazing developments in live-cell-imaging and the newly feasible high-throughput technologies that were springing up all around me in the "Bay Area" of San Francisco. The idea that, instead of testing hypotheses based on our imperfect knowledge of what goes on in a cell, we could design experiments that allow the cells to show us what they actually do. So when the opportunity arose to return "home" to work on the genome-wide control of mRNA translation, I jumped. Thus, armed with a Howard Florey Centenary Fellowship (NHMRC) I headed for the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (Sydney) and the newly formed lab of Thomas Preiss. Yikes, what a shock! Yeast biologist let loose amongst cardiologists... we spoke different languages. Great research is often about mixing skills and technologies. And, a great research environment is bigger than the sum of its parts. Thus years went by happily tinkering in the lab with dismal failures and some wonderful private and professional successes.
Before long, circumstances made it seem right to move back to Melbourne, but where? Trevor Lithgow, my long-term mentor said "Monash is great" and he was right (as he always is). And best of all, the lab tinkering is throwing out some really cool stuff that is allowing me to do the cross-disciplinary work that the experience at the Victor Chang had prepared me for.
Dr. Angavai Swaminathan, Research Officer
Dr. Paul Harrison, Bioinformatician
Dr. Rachael Turner, Research Fellow
Completed PhD students