I elected to do a joint Biochemistry and Chemistry Ph.D. focusing on the gas phase interactions of phospholipids and the solution phase binding of apolipoproteins to lipid micelles.
I enrolled in a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at the University of Melbourne in 2001. During my undergraduate years, I was fortunate to be awarded a scholarship to undertake research work in the School of Chemistry. The time spent there introduced me to the technique of mass spectrometry and its utility to not only study fundamental gas phase chemistries, but also its application in the field of proteomics. For my post-graduate studies I elected to do a joint Biochemistry and Chemistry Ph.D. focusing on the gas phase interactions of phospholipids and the solution phase binding of apolipoproteins to lipid micelles. This allowed me to learn skills that varied from molecular biology techniques including recombinant protein expression and site-directed mutagenesis through to analytical techniques such as ultracentrifugation and electron microscopy.
After the completion of my Ph.D., I left Australia and joined the lab of Prof Don Hunt at the University of Virginia as a Research Associate. My work there focused on the use of high-resolution mass spectrometry to localise specific post-translation modifications to proteins. The work was highly collaborative, with samples coming in from labs in Spain, Mexico and Ireland. The skill sets I developed helped me progress to my next position at CSL Ltd.
I joined CSL in 2011 after 3 years as a post-doctoral scientist. As a Senior Scientist in the Research Department of CSL, I was tasked with assisting in the characterization of all plasma-derived and recombinant proteins that were used in the Research department. The transition from academia to industry presented a challenge. I found the focus on completing projects to pre-defined timelines with the requirement for high quality data rewarding. During my tenure at CSL, I have been fortunate to work on projects that have led to novel epitopes being patented, and have been involved in late-stage projects some of which have since been approved by the FDA for the treatment of haemophilia.
After 5 years at CSL, I have moved to a small biotech called Nexvet. In this role, I will be involved in the characterization of monoclonal antibodies. Beyond the mass spectrometry skills which have been my core expertise over the decade, I will also be gaining experience in molecular interactions between these antibodies and their partners as well as support the analysis of their higher order structure.