I work with Dr. James Harris and Professor Eric Morand as an immunologist/cell biologist. My area of research aims to elucidate the roles of innate immune cells, such as macrophages and dendritic cells, as well as understand how normal catabolic processes, e.g. autophagy, can influence host immune responses in autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, lupus) and arthritis. I am also currently investigating the mechanisms through which macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) influences inflammatory cytokine responses, specifically in autoimmune diseases.
What skills do you have that you could share with your colleagues?
Through my work I have developed a fairly broad set of experimental techniques. My main area of expertise is in cell biology and molecular biology. I am proficient in a number of cell based assays which include culturing of both established and primary derived cell cultures, cell proliferation assays, ELISAs and luciferase reporter assays. In the molecular department I am very experienced in qPCR, western blot analysis and co-immunoprecipitations. I have also used confocal microscopy for co-localisation studies.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was 12 years old I watched the movie As the band played on. It was a very moving film about an epidemiologist and his quest into finding a cure and putting more research into HIV/AIDS. This movie had a profound effect on me and from that day onwards I had a passion and knew I wanted to become a scientific researcher to help humanity.
What do you enjoy doing outside work?
I am a very sociable and fun loving person who enjoys the outdoors, so on weekends I like to go out with friends and explore new places around Melbourne and surrounds. I also like to do some kind of physical activity such as dancing, go for runs or walks and sometimes indulge in a game of pitch and putt golf. In the summer going to the beach, snorkelling, sea kayaking, camping and hiking are a must.
Something your work colleagues probably don’t know about you?
I am a bit of a revhead. I love motorsport…..not so much watching it on TV but actually driving fast cars. I have driven V8 supercars around Sandown racecourse and I love tearing up the track go-karting. Love the adrenalin of going fast!!