Members

Dr 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 Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison did his PhD in computer science at Monash University, and joined the Victorian Bioinformatics Consortium at Monash University in 2005. Working at the VBC, Paul has collaborated with numerous researchers on projects involving high-throughput sequencing data, with an emphasis on microbial genomics and microbial gene expression. In 2011, Paul began collaborating with Traude Beilharz, developing a bioinformatic pipeline for analysis of PAT-Seq data. In 2015 he joined the Bioinformatics Platform at Monash University, continuing primarily to work for the Beilharz lab.

Dr Angavai Swaminathan, Research Officer

Angs completed her Master in Life Sciences and worked for a biotechnology firm in India. Her versatile and consistent performance eventually gained her a spot as Assistant Manager in that company. With eight years of industrial experience, she moved to Australia and commenced her PhD in the Beilharz lab in 2010. In her doctoral study she focused on the role of mRNA 3' end in protein translation control. Her growing enthusiasm towards molecular (RNA) biology inspired her to continue working in the Beilharz lab. Currently, she is passionate about studying how transcriptional promoters drive changes in 3' end formation of mRNA.

Andrew Pattison, Bioinformatics PhD student

Andrew completed his Bachelor of Biological Sciences, majoring in Genetics and Biochemistry, at La Trobe University. He did an Honours in Genetics and studied DNA vaccine delivery using chitosan DNA nanoparticles. He is currently undertaking a bioinformatics based PhD examining breast cancer metastatic potential.

Melissa Curtis, Research Assistant

Melissa has a background in both fine arts and science. She completed her Bachelors in Biomedical Science (Hons) with first class honours in 2014 under the supervision of Associate Professor Bernhard Dichtl at Deakin University. Her thesis explored the effect of Set1C, a methyltransferase, upon RNA processing and cell cycle regulation in yeast. Currently employed as a research assistant, she enjoys processing RNA samples for sequencing and analyzing the data produced using bioinformatics. She believes that a balance of creativity combined with systematic approach is essential for novel discovery and problem solving.

Adele Barugahare, Technical Assistant

Adele finished her Bachelors of Science with First Class Honours in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Monash University. Her thesis was on post transcriptional gene regulation by modulation of the poly(A) tail length in C.elegans and was co-supervised by Dr Peter Boag and Dr Traude Beilharz. In addition to working with C.elegans, she's also worked on a few other short research projects. One was examining temperature response in Arabidopsis thaliana, under the supervision of Associate Professor Sureshkumar Balasubramanian. She's also worked on a project examining diatom migration in temperate sediment at Warwick University. These days, Adele builds web-apps for visualising data generated and analysed in the lab and is exploring her interest in bioinformatics.