Our Staff

Alexis Perez Gonzalez, PhD

Cytometry Platform and Dental School node Manager

B. Biochemistry (summa cum laude), The University of Habana, Cuba (1996)

MSc Immunology, Centre of Molecular Immunology (Havana, Cuba) (1999)

PhD Biology, The University of Habana, Cuba (2003)

Alexis’ early research career in Havana, Cuba, and the basis of his PhD, focused on the molecular characterization and evaluation of monoclonal antibodies with anti-cancer properties in pre-clinical models. Upon relocation to Lisbon, Portugal to begin a postdoctoral career at the Gulbenkian Institute of Sciences, he was given the opportunity to manage the Flow Cytometry facility (2004-2006). In 2006 he joined the Flow Cytometry Core Facility (FCCF) at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany), acting first as a senior technical officer, then as manager of the facility (2012-2016). The EMBL years cemented Alexis’s passion for cytometry’s theory and practice. For a decade, he worked with and solved technologically challenging cutting-edge molecular biology projects involving rare populations and cellular markers, very low levels of fluorescence, complex biological samples and demanding downstream processes. In 2016, Alexis was appointed manager of the Melbourne Cytometry Platform (MCP) where he has overseen the expansion of the investment in state-of-the-art instrumentation and analysis resources, industry engagement and collaboration, education and the high-level support of over 350 university students and staff annually. As head of the MCP, Alexis applies his passion for and deep knowledge of instrument quality and performance characterisation methods to best match research challenges with instrument requirements.


Alexis Gonzalez - Platform manager

Vanta Jameson, PhD

Node manager -  Doherty Institute

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry and Molecular Biology/ Genetics, The University of Melbourne (1999).

PhD, The University of Melbourne, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute (2006).

Vanta's PhD in adult haemopoietic stem cell biology, first exposed her to the power of flow cytometry as both an analytical and cell recovery tool.  Her studies characterised the expression of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) throughout human haemopoietic ontogeny and the function of ACE and the renin-angiotensin system in the murine haemopoietic system.  Commenced in the early 2000's, these studies pushed the limits of flow cytometry instrumentation, with large, multi-colour antibody panels and dyes employed for flow cytometric analysis and sorting.  These experiences contributed to her appreciation of the crucial nature of sample and experimental optimisation and controls. Following her PhD, she joined the Australian Stem Cell Centre and worked on murine embryonic stem cell (ESC) differentiation toward various mesenchymal fates, before commencing a post-doc in 2007 at the Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories (MISCL). Her investigations at MISCL again involved almost daily multi-colour flow cytometric analysis and sorting of human ESC-derived blood progenitor cells, and she quickly also became the resident lab educator of newcomers to cytometry. Her love of cytometry and teaching prompted a move into core facility management. Vanta was the manager of the MBC flow cytometry node since its inception in 2012, before commenicing management at the Doherty node in 2022. With over a decade's first-hand experience as a medical research scientist and 10+ years managing a core flow cytometry facility, Vanta appreciates the effort involved in sample preparation, in 'getting it right', and believes in making the process of flow cytometry as stress-free as possible for her facility's users.  With experience in samples and research areas as varied as nanoparticles, stem cells, brain tissue, other solid organs and immunology, she is passionate about teaching, experimental optimisation to achieve robust, reproducible and publishable data. Contact Vanta for assistance with experimental and panel design, sample preparation and optimisation, data interpretation and publication readiness, instrument and software training.


MBC node manager Vanta Jameson

Magdaline (Maggie) Sakkas, PhD

Node manager -  Melbourne Brain Centre and Bio21

Bachelor of Science (Hons), Monash University  (1995)

PhD, Monash University (1999)

Magdaline completed her Honours, PhD and first post-doctoral position investigating mechanisms governing the expression of the tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) gene, a component of the fibrinolytic enzyme system. In 2002, she switched to the study of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and later human pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). At the time, the technology associated with these cells was limited and she was instrumental in establishing methodologies involving their culture, genetic modification via homologous recombination and their differentiation into endothelial cells. In 2013 she commenced her 3rd post-doc where she generated iPSCs from blood samples taken from patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). She successfully customized conditions to maintain many of these abhorrent iPSCs in vitro and differentiate them back into CD34+ blood progenitors. During this time, flow cytometry was as essential part of her work. In 2017, she left academia to join AMREPFlow at the Alfred Hospital. In 2022 she joined the Melbourne Cytometry Platform (MCP) where she is now the manager of the Brain Centre and Bio21 cytometry nodes. Her extensive knowledge as a scientist and a flow cytometrist has enabled her to assist researchers both technically and scientifically.


Oliver (Olly) Eltherington

Cytometry Senior Technical Specialist

BSc (Hons) Biology – University of Stirling, UK (2014)

MRes Immunobiology – Newcastle University, UK (2015)

Having completed a masters in Newcastle, Oliver began his research career at the Musculoskeletal research group in Newcastle, working on various clinical studies & trials in the context of autoimmune disease. Oliver’s primary focus was the use of flow cytometry as a measure of efficacy of these studies. He spent his time developing standardized protocols and panels for use across the multi-centre, UK-wide, studies. Oliver moved to the University of Otago, NZ in 2019 where he worked in the pathology department on HPV and tolerance to E7. In 2021 he took up a post at the University of Otago flow cytometry facility as a Research Technician just as the Cytek Aurora was delivered. Having worked on multiple different projects and gaining experience on BD, BC and Cytek analysers and sorters Oliver has joined the Melbourne Cytometry Platform and looks forward to continuing assisting researchers in their cytometry research questions.


Alison Morey

Alison Morey, PhD

Operator, Melbourne Cytometry Platform

BSc Microbiology and Biochemistry, University of Otago (2016)

BSc (Hons) Microbiology, Monash University (2017)

PhD, Monash University (2022)

Alison’s Honours year introduced her to the flow cytometry world: characterising the phenotypic and functional capacities of c-Rel in CD8 T cells. She further refined her skills in cytometry during her time as a research assistant and became the main flow person assisting and training new lab members. She commenced her PhD in 2018, which focused on the development of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy techniques to visualise how the spatial organisation of the nucleus is reconfigured during CD8 T cell differentiation. Her PhD was heavily technique focused and through this she became passionate about understanding the intricacies of fluorescent techniques to generate data to the highest quality. Alison joined the Melbourne Cytometry Platform to follow her passion about fluorescence and provide technical support to researchers.

Catherine Li

Catherine Li

Operator, Doherty Institute

BSc Applied Medical Laboratory Sciences, RMIT (1992)

In 2001 Catherine started out managing a small confocal microscopy facility at La Trobe University before moving on to operate a FACS Aria cell sorter at St Vincent's Institute for Medical Research in 2005. 3 years later Catherine moved on to the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research to set up a small Flow Cytometry facility before taking on the role as an operator at the Doherty flow Cytometry Facility in 2012. Working in the field of flow cytometry for over 15 years, Catherine is very experienced at setting up large multi-colour panel sorts from various cell types isolated from tissue and blood for bulk and single cell applications along with troubleshooting any instrument problems that arise.

Lankesha Yapa

Operator, Doherty Institute

BSc Biochemistry, University of Auckland, New Zealand (1998)

MSc, University of Auckland, New Zealand (2001)

On completion of her Masters, Lankesha worked for Genesis Research and Development Corp doing sequencing before moving to Australia to join the Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF) to assist with the Wallaby Genome Sequencing project. In 2005 Lankesha took up the position of operator at the WEHI Flow Cytometry facility working under the tutelage of Dr. Frank Battye. Here she gained valuable experience in the operation and troubleshooting of many cell sorters and benchtop analysers. Lankesha joined the Doherty Flow Cytometry Facility as an operator in 2016. Having worked in the field for over 15 years, Lankesha sets up  multi-colour sorts from a variety of different cell types for bulk and single cell applications, ensuring the best possible outcome for the Researcher.