Staff

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Research Staff

Group Leaders

  • Photo of Dr Amy Chung

    Dr Amy Chung

    Dr Amy Chung completed her PhD with our group in 2011 and was then awarded both an NHMRC CJ Martin award and an Australia-America fellowship to work with Dr Galit Alter at Harvard University/Ragon Institute. She had a highly successful post-doc there with first authored publications in Science Translational Medicine and cell. She returns on the Australian leg of her NHMRC CJ Martin fellowship to set up projects on novel aspects of antibody immunity. She is studying aspects of “Systems Serology” (see Chung et al, Cell 2015) whereby a complete picture of functional antibody responses is analysed to HIV, TB and other pathogens. She has developed novel multiplex assays to generate this broad picture of antibody immunity. She is supervising a PhD student, Matthew Worley, and a Research Assistant. She has received University of Melbourne Early Career grants and a D’Esterre-Taylor Charitable Trust grant to continue her work.

  • Photo of Dr Adam Wheatley

    Dr Adam Wheatley

    Dr Adam Wheatley completed his PhD in this department in 2010. He then worked as a post-doctoral scientist at the NIH’s Vaccine Research Centre in the US with Drs Rick Koup, Adrian McDermott and others. He is now both helping to develop novel nano-medicine projects and is developing insight into B cell and antibody based immunity projects to influenza and HIV. In particular, he is pioneering haemagluttin fluorescent probes to study Influenza B cell biology and drive improvements in Influenza vaccines. Some of his work on this topic was published in Cell this year (Cell 2016; 166: 609-623). He is supervising PhD students, Yi Liu and Hannah Kelly. He has received an Early Career Research Grant from the University of Melbourne and he is a co-investigator on our 2016 ACH2 Award.

  • Photo of Dr Matt Parsons

    Dr Matt Parsons

    Dr Matt Parsons completed his PhD at McGill in Canada in 2012 and joined us in Nov 2012. He is an expert in NK cell biology and HIV. He spent 6 months with us during his PhD, which was very stimulating and highly productive. He is studying subtypes of NK cells for their ability to mediate HIV-specific ADCC responses. He is also interested in how ADCC antibodies could help prevent infection with cell-associated HIV. Together with Prof. Kent, he was awarded ACH2 grants in 2014 and 2016, as well as an NHMRC Project Grant in 2015 to continue his work. He has been awarded Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Doherty Fellowships. He is supervising PhD students Wen Shi Lee and Kevin John Selva and Research Assistant Anne Kristensen.

Post Doctoral Fellow

  • photo of Jennnifer Juno

    Jennifer Juno

    Jennifer is a talented Canadian postdoctoral fellow who started with us in September 2016. She completed a PhD at the University of Manitoba in 2014 on aspects of HIV disease progression. She has recently been working at the National Laboratory for HIV Immunology – HIV/TB Co-infection Unit at the Public Health Agency of Canada in Winnipeg. She joins us with an interest in HIV/SIV, TB, MAIT cells, gamma-delta cells and CD1-restricted T cells. She has been awarded Canadian Institutes of Health Research and NHMRC Early Career fellowships.

  • Photo of Hyon-Xhi Tan

    Hyon-Xhi Tan

    Hyon Xhi graduated with a BSc (Hons) from the University of Otago NZ in 2010 where he won several prestigious awards. He hails from Malaysia originally. He started his PhD in 2013 and has developed a series of Influenza-HIV vaccines and studied their ability to induce resident memory T cells. He has developed a number of innovative in situ based staining techniques to study tissue-based immunity. He submitted his PhD thesis in August 2016 and is working with us finishing off some exciting work from his PhD. He is working with Adam to develop an understanding of influenza-specific B cell responses in tissues.

  • photo of Sinthujan Jegaskanda

    Sinthujan Jegaskanda

    Sinth is a former Honors and PhD student from our lab who rejoins us on an NHMRC CJ Martin fellowship after several successful years in Influenza research at the NIH. He is always enthusiastic, productive, full of great ideas and techniques and a pleasure to have in our wider  lab group. He is starting to supervise his own team, with Wenbo joining us later in 2017.

Research Assistants

  • Photo of Vinca Alcantara

    Vinca Alcantara

    Vinca completed her Bachelor of Science (Clinical Laboratory Science) at Silliman University in the Philippines in 1994. She joined the Kent Lab in 2005 and works as a Research Technician. She is highly expert at flow cytometry including tetramer staining on T cells. She makes everyone's life easier by coordinating general lab management and maintenance. She is working on various collaborative nano-particle projects and on the “Advice” clinical trial of a PAR-1 inhibitor in HIV infection.

  • Photo of Thakshila Amarasena

    Thakshila Amarasena

    Thakshila is an experienced technical scientist helping with our studies of viral quantification, sequencing and flow cytometry. She obtained her science degree in Sri Lanka and is a very experienced laboratory scientist. She is also our diligent safety and compliance officer.

  • Photo of Anne Kristensen

    Anne Kristensen

    Anne completed the research component of her MSc from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark with us here in Melbourne and received top marks! She has now returned to our group as an expert research assistant working with Dr Matt Parsons on a series of HIV ADCC projects. She is well versed on a wide range of ADCC and NK cell assays.

  • Photo of Megan Schepers

    Megan Schepers

    Megan took over coordinating our animal facility in Geelong in 2011 but has worked with us part time for many years prior to that. She is doing a wonderful job caring for our animals and coordinating our five other part time staff members. Megan trained at Deakin both as a BSc science graduate and a registered nurse. In between all her hard work she has given birth to two lovely children!

  • Photo of Ester Lopez

    Ester Lopez

    Ester is a highly skilled and experienced scientist who is working closely with Dr Amy Chung to help her deliver on a wide range of antibody related projects. She obtained a BSc (Honors) though our department and was most recently working with Zoetis/Pfizer, a large animal vaccines company.

  • Sriveni Pantham

    Sriveni is working with us part time as a research assistant helping Vinca and Thakshila manage the lab so capably. Sriveni graduated with a MSc in Microbiology from Acharya Nagarjuna University in India and has experience working for a number of biotechnology companies.

  • Photo of Kathleen Wragg

    Kathleen Wragg

    Kathleen is a clever and gifted scientist helping Dr Jen Juno and others in the lab work on a range of HIV and Influenza immunology projects. She obtained her BSc (Honors) at Latrobe University where she was Dux of her class in 2015.

  • photo of Robyn Easterbauer

    Robyn Esterbauer

    Robyn completed a BSc (Honors) in our department in 2016 topping her honors class. She has previously worked in several IT areas and brings a wide range of skills to our lab. She is working with Adam on several influenza immunity projects and is a very valued team member.

  • Photo of Clare McClumpha

    Clare McClumpha

    Clare rejoined our group in 2017 as a part time Vet helping us with our animal projects. She worked for us as an animal technician for many years while doing an undergraduate degree at Deakin and then Veterinary Science at the University of Melbourne. She brings a wide range of Vet skills to our work and is an invaluable member of our wider group.

Students

  • Photo of Fernanda Batiz

    Fernanda Ana-Sosa Batiz

    Fernanda graduated with a BSc from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in Mexico in 2008. She is doing her PhD on antibody-dependent phagocytosis immunity to HIV and Influenza.

  • Photo of Kevin John Selva

    Kevin John Selva

    Kevin completed his BSc (Hons) at the Nanyang Technical University in Singapore and has subsequently worked as a research assistant on NK cell immunity to adenovirus infections in the eye. He joined our group to conduct a PhD on aspects of NK cell biology and ADCC immunity to HIV with Dr Matt Parsons. He is studying how factors within seminal plasma cause immune-suppression, inhibiting the ability of NK cells to mediate ADCC and enhance HIV transmission.

  • Photo of Wen Shi Lee

    Wen Shi Lee

    Wen Shi completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne in 2013 and completed First Class Honours with us in 2014. His PhD studies focus on understanding how to clear latently infected cells and cure HIV using ADCC antibodies. Wen Shi has broad skills in both ADCC immunity and HIV virology. He is also studying how viral rebound during cure therapies or treatment interruption boosts ADCC.

  • Photo of Hilary Vanderven

    Hilary Vanderven

    Hillary completed her MSc at the University of Alberta in Canada in 2011 and worked as a research assistant, laboratory coordinator and lecturer after that. She moved to Melbourne and started a PhD with us in 2014 studying ADCC immunity to influenza. She has studied ADCC immunity to internal influenza proteins, to H7N9 pandemic influenza and in response to vaccination of the elderly.

  • Photo of Joshua Glass

    Joshua Glass

    Josh completed a combined Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science degree with Honours at the University of NSW in 2013 where he was awarded a series of medals and commendations. He has worked as a research assistant at the Garvan Insitute in Sydney before taking up a PhD position with us in early 2014. He is studying nanoparticle-based HIV vaccines as part of a large collaborative ARC Centre of Excellence award. He is collaborating widely across the 19 CIs in this Centre, becoming an expert in studying how nanoparticles interact with immune cells.

  • Photo of Hannah Kelly

    Hannah Kelly

    Hannah is a “Kiwi” who graduated from Victoria University of Wellington. She joins our group after working as a research assistant at Absynth Biologics Ltd, Sheffield in the UK. She started a PhD with us in early 2017 and is working on projects related to understanding how nanoparticles interact with immune cells and can function as vaccines. This is part of our ARC Centre of Excellence grant on Nanomedicine, where she is playing an active role of several committees.

  • photo of Julius Wong

    Julius Wong

    Julius started a PhD with us early 2017 on influenza immunity projects together with Adam and Sinth in the lab. He is developing several key reagents to be able to better understand how B cell immunity can protect against Influenza. He completed both a Diploma in Molecular Biotechnology at Nanyang Polytechnic and a BSc Honors at NUS in Singapore before obtaining a prestigious University of Melbourne scholarship to undertake a PhD with our group.

  • photo of Timon Damelang

    Timon Damelang

    Timon joined our group as a PhD student in 2017. He is working with Amy Chung and collaborator Stephen Rogerson on projects related to antibody-based immunity against malaria, especially pregnancy-associated malaria. Timon obtained an MSc from the University of Lubeck and a BSc from the Martin Luther University, both in Germany.

  • photo of Kuangyu Fei

    Kuangyu Fei

    Kuangyu is a medical student from the prestigious Tsinghua University in China. He started a Masters by Research with our lab in 2016, funded by a Chinese Scholarship. He is working with Dr Amy Chung on antibody-based immunity to HIV, Influenza and Tuberculosis.

  • photo of Wembo Jiang

    Wenbo Jiang

    Wenbo is starting a PhD with us at the end of 2017 studying immunity to influenza with Dr Sinth Jegaskanda. He obtained his BS in Biotechnology from Jilin University and his MS in Bioengineering from Institute Pasteur Shanghai. He obtained a prestigious international PhD scholarship from the University of Melbourne and has already published in the field of influenza immunity. We are excited to have him join our lab.

  • photo of Matthew Worley

    Matthew Worley

    Matthew started a PhD with our group in 2015 after completing a BSc honors at ANU. He is working with Dr Amy Chung studying how neutrophils can mediate antibody-based effector functions against HIV. This is likely to be important to enhance mucosal immunity against HIV.

Administrative Assistant

  • Jane Batten

    Jane is a former research scientist who worked with us for many years prior to having children. She rejoined the group part time in 2015 to help us manage our large research enterprise.