My interest in research started when I was a second year student at ANU. I wanted to trade in my job at a supermarket deli for a job in a lab. I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to do a malaria physiology project with Kiaran Kirk and Kevin Saliba, and I have been doing research ever since. After a PhD on chloroquine resistance in Kiaran Kirk’s lab, I moved to Columbia University on an NHMRC Overseas Biomedical Fellowship to work in a malaria genetics lab. I returned in 2012 for the Australia-based years of the fellowship and was awarded a DECRA in 2015 to study ion regulation in malaria and Toxoplasma parasites.
Current research interests
I am interested in how antiparasitic compounds act and how resistance to them arises, manifests, and can be prevented. My current research centres on membrane transport proteins involved in ion regulation in parasites - some of these have emerged as new drug targets and/or new determinants of drug resistance.
What do you enjoy most about research?
Malaria research is at an exciting stage, with new ways of killing the parasite and promising drug candidates being discovered with increasing frequency. I enjoy being part of both the large, global team that is trying to end malaria, and a small lab team full of highly motivated people. I particularly enjoy the moments when puzzling observations finally make sense, and when a large study comes together and it’s time to write the paper.
- This profile first appeared in the RSB Newsletter, Issue 89, August 2017.