Early-Mid Career Researchers Association (EMCRA)
The School of Biomedical Sciences' Early-Mid Career Researchers Association (EMCRA) was formed to support level A and B postdoctoral researchers in our School, across all three departments. We offer opportunities for postdocs to network with each other, and most importantly run an inter-department collaborative seed-funding grant once a year, called the EMCRA Collaborative Award. We are also actively involved with the School of Biomedical Sciences' Research Committee, and Executive Committee, providing a voice for early and mid-career researchers to the senior members of the School.
Please reach out via email or our social channels, so we can keep you up to date with events and opportunities that specifically benefit YOU, our School's postdocs! We are also eager to engage with other postdoctoral early-mid career associations in Victoria. If you represent any such organisation, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Meet the Steering Committee
The EMCRA committee meets monthly to discuss ways we can help support the level A and B postdoctoral research in the School of Biomedical Sciences. We have 34 members in 2021.
We have formed three subcommittees to champion our goals for the year:
Communications, Development, Scientific & Social
The Communications subcommittee keep us all connected, whether it's via email, social media or this website! Contact us with any of your burning questions, or if you need to get the word out about any upcoming events or achievements in the School.
Members: Amar Abdullah (project lead), Hamid Soleimaninejad, Mariana Del Rosso de Melo, Rubaiyea Farrukee, Sapna Devi, Ashleigh Porter, Stacey Keenan.
The Development working group are here to create and support opportunities for professional skills development for EMCRs within the School.
Members: Justin Hardee (project lead), Claire Weekley, Kristy Swiderski, Aimee Tan, Maria Nogueira de Menezes, Ric De Paolai-Iseppi, Svenja Fritzlar, Emma McHugh, Paula Miotto, Louise Rowntree, Samantha Grimley.
Scientific & Social Subcommittee
The Scientific & Social subcommittee is the driving force behind our EMCRA Collaborative Award and our annual research symposium, beyond keeping us all networked face-to-face, organising regular social activities for EMCRs to catch-up and relax. These activities are a great way for new staff to make friends when they join our School!
Members: Claire Gorrie (project lead and EMCRA co-chair), Annabel Bachem (project lead), Patrick Shriek, Pin Shie Quah, Katharina Hochheiser Aung Aung Kywe Moe, Cameron Adams, Jeff Liddell, Michael Morgan, Stephanie Neville, Hyon Xhi Tan.
The EMCRA committee has three co-chairs in 2021:
Justin Hardee, Claire Gorrie and Amar Abdullah
Other ongoing projects
VISA information sessions: Pin Shie Quah (project lead) and Patrick Shriek
Pitch and networking event for the collaborative award: Claire Gorrie (project lead), Hyon Xhi Tan, Ayenachew Bezawork-Geleta
*This person may not be working at University of Melbourne anymore
|Name||Research Focus||Key Skills||Departments and Centres|
|Dr Catarina F Almeida||NKT cells, TCR-Ag Recognition, ligand discovery||cell culture, flow cytometry, single cell PCR (TCR repertoire), structural biology||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Paul Angel||Bioinformatics, data integration, transcriptomics, stemcells||bioinformatics, transcriptomics, computational modelling, statistics||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Annabell Bachem||Microbiota and T cells||flow cytometry, mouse/rat models, cell culture||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Stephanie Neville||Chemical biology of host-pneumococcal interactions||molecular biology, protein biochemistry, bacteriology, metallobiology||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Alice Brandli||Systemic health and eye disease||immunohistochemistry, molecular biology, mouse/rat models, meta analysis and systematic reviews||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Zhenjun Chen||MAIT immunity and microbe infections||mouse/rat models, flow cytometry, molecular biology, immunotherapy||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Steffi Cheung||Structural biology||crystallography, structural biology, protein purification, biophysical assays||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Michelle P Christie||Pore-forming proteins, protein interactions, structural biology, infection, biosensors||protein biochemistry, structural biology, protein-interaction studies||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Brendon Chua||Design and development of vaccine and therapeutic interventions, host protection against infectious diseases||cell biology, flow cytometry, vaccine design, peptide chemistry||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Bliss Cunningham||Metal ions in pneumococcal infections||mouse/rat models, molecular biology, microbiology||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Dezerae Cox||Proteome (mis)foldedness in neurodegenerative disease||cell culture, proteomics, recombinant protein production, kinetic assays||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Ricardo |
|Nanopore sequencing in neuropsychiatric disorders||genomics, PCR, long-read sequencing, non-model organisms||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Sapna Devi||Neural regulation of lymphocyte migration||microscopy, flow cytometry, intravital microscopy, whole organ imaging||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Maximilien Evrard||Resident-Memory T cells||mouse/rat models, flow cytometry, bioinformatics, 2-photon microscopy||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr David Farmer*||Physiology, Nervous system, cardiovascular, respiratory||neuroscience, surgery, electrophysiology, novel viral tools||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Daniel Fernandez-Ruiz||Immunology, malaria, vaccines||cell biology, flow cytometry, vaccine adjuvants, liver immunology||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr William Figgett||Therapeutics development for B-cell malignancies||mouse/rat models, bioinformatics, omics and multivariate statistics, machine learning, molecular dynamics simulations, B-cell biology||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Jess Fletcher||Glial cell biology, neurotrophins, multiple sclerosis, neurodegeneration||cell biology, fluorescence microscopy, image analysis, animal models of demyelinating disease||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Raissa Fonseca||Resident memory T cell development||flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Jaime Foong||Mature and developing enteric nervous system||neuroscience, immunohistochemistry, calcium imaging of live cells, in vitro gut physiology assays||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Katherine Ganio||Metalloproteomics of host-pathogen interactions||mass spectrometry, protein biochemistry, bioanalytical chemistry, ICP-MS||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Nicholas A. Gherardin||T cell Immunology||flow cytometry, protein biochemistry, human immunology, nanobody production||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Justin P. Hardee||Regulation of skeletal muscle plasticity||cell biology, mouse/rat models, neuromuscular stimulation, immunohistochemistry|
|Dr Damián Hernández||Diseases modelling with cerebral organoids||stem cells, CRISPR, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), neuroscience||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr James Hilton||Mechanisms of neurodegeneration||protein biochemistry, mouse/rat models, mass spectrometry, neuroscience||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Katharina Hochheiser||T-cell mediated immune responses in peripheral tissues||mouse/rat models, CRISPR, flow cytometry, gene editing||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Darryl Johnson||Innate T cell biology||fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, mouse models, cell culture||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Jennifer Juno||Unconventional T cells and Tfh||flow cytometry, RNA seq, cell cultures, Macaque models of human infections||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Mohsen Kazemi||Cryo-electron microscopy (Single Particle Analysis, Sub-Tomogram Averaging)||cryo-electron microscopy, structural biology, Single Particle Analysis, Sub-Tomogram Imaging||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Stacey Keenan||Metabolism, fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, lipid metabolism, obesity||mouse/rat models, surgery, in vitro/in vivo/ex vivo metabolic measurements, radiometric and tracer studies|
|Dr Catherine Kennedy||B cell mediated pathologies||mouse/rat models, molecular biology, microbiology||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Hui-Fern Koay||T-cell development, biology and immunology||flow cytometry, primary cell and cell line culture, mouse models, thymic organoids, RNAseq||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Marios Koutsakos||Human immunology, influenza virology||flow cytometry, TCR repertoire analysis, influenza virus plaque assays||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Meina Li||Mechanopharmacology in lung health||cell biology, proteomics, RNAseq, CRISPR, animal models||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Jeff Liddell||Pathobiology of neurodegeneration||primary neural cell culture and co-culture systems, ICP-MS elemental analysis (anatomical, bulk and micro), metallobiology, live-cell imaging||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Grace Lidgerwood||Stem cell disease modelling||stem cells, cell biology, retinal biology, single cell RNA sequencing||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Haiyin Liu||Receptor ubiquitination in immunity||flow cytometry, CRISPR, ubiquitin analysis, biochemistry||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Jieqiong Lou||Chromatin organisation, light microscopy||fluorescence microscopy, cell biology, protein dynamics, membrane protein signaling and trafficking||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Christophe Macri||Dendritic cells, vaccination, checkpoint inhibitors||flow cytometry, CRISPR, mouse animal model, cell culture||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Alice McGovern||Respiratory Neuroscience||surgery, in vivo physiology, viral tracing, single cell RNAseq||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Emma McHugh||Alternative splicing in Plasmodium falciparum||fluorescence microscopy, cell biology, molecular biology, CRISPR||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Rachel McQuade||Brain-gut axis in Parkinson's Disease||mouse/rat models, neuroscience, ex vivo colonic motility and secretion, in vivo gastrointestinal transit||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Maria Menezes||Malaria, vaccine, memory, liver, cd8||flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, malaria, mouse models||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Aung Aung Kywe Moe||Central circuitry of vagal stimulation||behavioural assays, mouse/rat models, optogenetics, structural and functional MRI in rodents||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Michael Morgan||Pain, neuroscience, inflammation, pharmacology||behavioural assays, proteomics, mouse/rat models, high throughput assays||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Sara Nikseresht||Cell death mechanisms in neurodegenerative disease||mouse/rat models, cell culture||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Susan Northfield||Peptide and Medicinal Chemistry||peptide chemistry, medicinal chemistry, drug design, neuroscience||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Dalia Ponce||Proteomics and therapeutics development||protein biochemistry, molecular biology, mass spectrometry, pharmacology and toxicology||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Ruslan Pustovit||Enteric nervous system, bowel motility, ghrelin, constipation, spinal cord injury||neuroscience, surgery, animal physiology, neurogastroenterology||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Pin Shie Quah||Immune defence against Citrobacter rodentium||cell biology, flow cytometry, gene expression, mouse models||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Julio Rodriguez||Mosquito borne viruses||virology, cell biology, mosquito/insect models, cell culture||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Elena Schneider-Futschik||Pharmacology of respiratory disease treatments||cell biology, cell culture, pharmacology & toxicology, drug-drug interactions||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Mark B Schultz||Bioinformatics genomics antimicrobial resistance bacteria||bioinformatics, genomics, metagenomics, microbiomics||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Ashish Sethi||Solution NMR, protein structure and dynamics, protein-protein/peptide interaction, fragment based drug designing||protein biochemistry, structural biology, solution NMR, protein structure determination||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Lincon Stamp||Enteric nervous system stem cells||stem cells, neuroscience, cell biology||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Sanda Stankovic||NK cells, cancer immunology||cell biology, gene expression, flow cytometry, mouse models of infection and disease||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Aimee Tan||Metals in molecular microbiology||molecular biology, gene expression, animal model, PCR and cloning||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr David Thomas||Exploring Coxiella effector proteins||cell culture, fluorescence microscopy, molecular biology, cell biology||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Nancy Wang||T cell immunity against bacteria||flow cytometry, mouse/rat models, T cell stimulation assays, cytokine analysis||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Kevin Watt||Mechanisms regulating skeletal muscle growth||cell biology, molecular biology, mouse/rat models, surgery|
|Dr Claire Weekley||Metals and metalloproteins in biology||X-ray absorbance spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence microscopy, protein biochemistry, structural biology||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Nicole Wiedmann||Neural circuitry||neuroscience, fluorescence microscopy, small rodent surgery||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Claire Gorrie||Microbiology, bioinformatics, genomics, computational biology||bioinformatics, genomics, antimicrobial resistance, hospital transmission analysis||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Angeline Ferdinand||Microbial genomics and public health||genomics, health program evaluation, health systems||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Eve Maunders||Metal ion homeostasis||molecular biology, transcriptomics, microbiology, gene expression||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Svenja Fritzlar||Host-factors that restrict influenza infections||fluorescence microscopy, molecular biology, viral infections, flow cytometry||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Daniel Bird||Developmental biology, Reproductive Biology, Endocrinology||immunohistochemistry, mouse/rat models, molecular biology||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Paula Miotto||Mitochondrial function, skeletal muscle, liver, bone, metabolism/physiology||mitochondrial function, metabolism/physiology, biochemical adaptations|
|Dr Kathryn Munro||Neurons, synaptic plasticity, Alzheimer's disease||neuroscience, cell culture, behavioural assays, immunohistochemistry||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Amar Abdullah||TBI mouse model neurotoxicity assay||behavioural assays, cell culture, QPCR histology western blot microscopy, TBI model iv ip||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Lou Fourriere||Intracellular trafficking in Alzheimer's disease||cell biology, fluorescence microscopy, RUSH system, neurobiology||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Hamid Soleimaninejad||Optical microscopy and Imaging||microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, high end optical microscopy such as FRET/ FLIM / FAIM/ RICS /FCS||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Laura Cook||Human antigen-specific CD4+ T cells||flow cytometry, cell culture, functional T cell assays, cytokine detection||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Cameron Adams||Neural connectivity||fluorescence microscopy, surgery, rodent drug self-administration, optogenetics||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr John-Paul Fuller-Jackson||Spinal cord innervation of pelvis||neuroscience, immunohistochemistry, Widefield microscopy, Lightsheet microscopy||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Veronica Uribe Sokolov||Cardiovascular developmental biology||microscopy, molecular biology, zebrafish embryology, cardiac development|
|Dr Lee Yeoh||Epigenetics and transcriptomics in malaria||bioinformatics, CRISPR, molecular biology, genomics||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Sonia Guilas*||Immunology, Vaccine, Malaria, Memory CD8+T cells||mouse/rat models, flow cytometry, fluorescent microscopy, cell culture||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Makhala Khammy||Cardiovascular Physiology and Pharmacology, Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids, Hypertension||surgery, mouse/rat models, in vivo haemodynamic monitoring, ex vivo assessment of cardiac and vascular function, amperometry||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Nicole Siddall||Genetics Drosophila Stem Cells Reproduction||cell biology, fluorescence microscopy||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Calvin Eiber||Computational modelling peripheral neural interfaces||neuroscience, computational modelling, MATLAB and neuron anatomically-detailed models of neural cells, circuits, and systems, computational geometry||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Ellie Cho||Image analysis, Fluorescence Microscopy||Image analysis, fluorescence microscopy, Immunohistochemistry||Biochemistry and Pharmacology|
|Dr Wen Shi Lee||Antibodies against HIV and SARS-CoV-2||cell culture, flow cytometry, ADCC assays, Viral infection assays||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Jessica Briffa||Pregnancy, Developmental Biology, Interventions, Molecular Biology||mouse/rat models, molecular biology, histology|
|Dr Oanh Nguyen||Human immune responses to viral infections||cell biology, flow cytometry, clinical cohorts, single-cell transcriptomics||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Mariana Del Rosso de Melo||Central regulation of breathing and blood pressure||immunohistochemistry, neuroscience, rat models/electromyography, optogenetics/chemogenetics|
|Dr Maciej Daniszewski||Stem cell-based disease modelling||cell culture, stem cells, neuroscience, single-cell RNA sequencing||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Melinda Ashcroft||Genomic epidemiology of infectious diseases||bioinformatics, genomics, computational microbiology||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Patrick Schriek||Biology of dendritic cells and their antigen presentation||cell biology, flow cytometry, protein biochemistry, mouse models||Biochemistry and Pharmacology; Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Kevin John Selva||Mucosal antibody responses during infection||cell culture, flow cytometry, bead-based multiplex assays, activation/inhibition cell-based assays||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Dr Kristy Swiderski||Regulation of skeletal muscle health||cell culture, mouse/rat models, protein analysis, cell biology||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Amelia Nash||Enteric nervous system glia, glioma||neuroscience, cell biology, Immunohistochemistry, Cell culture||Anatomy and Physiology|
|Dr Ash Porter||Zoonotic viral evolution, virus-host relationships||genomics, bioinformatics, Evolutionary biology, Virology||Microbiology and Immunology|
*This person may not be working at University of Melbourne anymore
EMCRA Collaborative Award
Applications for the 2021 EMCRA Collaborative Award round are now open
One of the primary goals of EMCRA is to promote research independence of the brilliant and talented postdoctoral researchers in the School of Biomedical Sciences (SBS). Once a year we open a call for the EMCRA Collaborative Award, a seed-funding grant available to level A and B postdocs in SBS, who submit projects of their own devising, and must include collaboration across SBS departments.
This funding is intended to promote collaborations at the postdoctoral level in the School, and to help our postdocs gain research independence ahead of larger funding applications to the ARC and NHMRC. There is a total funding pool of $60k available, and awarded funds are estimated to be $10-20k per funded project.
Now in its fourth year, the EMCRA Collaborative Award has fostered lasting inter-department collaborations, contributed to manuscripts and grant applications, supported establishment of new techniques, and facilitated successful funding applications to the University and the NHMRC.
Winners of the 2020 round of the Award were announced in November 2020. Please click here for the announcement.
- Application open: Monday 21st of June 2021
- Networking event: details TBC
- Applications close: extended to 3rd of September at 5 pm
-Notification of outcomes: October 2021
Award rules and Application form:
Best of luck and happy networking!
In 2020, the Development sub-committee of SBS EMCRA is piloting a mentoring scheme for Level A and B researchers in the School of Biomedical Sciences with the aim of improving career development and support. In this scheme, EMCRs have been paired with Level C and above academics outside of their Department, further enhancing cross-Departmental connections.
The pilot scheme will run throughout 2020. Feedback from participants will be used to assess its impact and plan future mentoring programs. Expressions of interest for the 2020 program closed on Oct 31, 2019.
Further information on the design of the pilot scheme and expectations of mentees and mentors can be found in the documents below. Please direct concerns and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or a member of the Development subcommittee.
We're in the midst of planning this page. We'd like it to be the go-to place for SBS EMCRs to find the information they need to succeed while working in the School. Think career development, funding opportunities, grant writing tips, connecting with other EMCR organisations and where to find support during challenging times.
Let us know if there are resources you want to see on this page or if you have links and content that you think we should be sharing. Contact us at email@example.com with the subject line: Resources Page.
Mental Health Resources
We have recently found ourselves in a challenging time amid COVID-19 restrictions. Having to face career uncertainties, social disconnection and carers’ responsibilities for some, it is understandable that many of us will be feeling stressed, anxious, lost and overwhelmed. To better support EMCRs, we have put together a list of mental health resources below. Please note that this is a general guide; visit your GP for professional advice and call ‘000’ for urgent assistance.
Mental Health Resources
This University webpage covers a wide range of internal and external health and wellbeing support services and resources.
This University webpage covers the mental health reactions associated with COVID-19, coping strategies and recommended resources and support available in Australia.
This is a confidential support service available to UoM employees and their immediate family members. It is delivered by an external provider, Benestar through telephone, video, online, or the BeneHub app. Appointments can be made by calling 1300 360 364 (Australia) or +61 2 8295 2292 (International). Alternatively, visit https://benestar.com/, click on the ‘BeneHub Login’ button and enter the following details in the ‘Use your company token’ and create your personal profile’ section:
An excellent website created by the Australian Government Department of Health that provide step-by-step guide to help you find the right digital mental health resources that suit your needs.
Provides telephone counselling and referral to local mental health support services.
Telephone: 13 11 14
Provides mental health and suicide prevention information to cater for people from various cultural and language background.
Provides anonymous and free counselling and referral services tailored for the LGBTI community.
Telephone: 1800 184 527
Non-for-profit organisation which provides relationship counselling and mediation.
Telephone: 1300 543 396
Provides free support, referral and information for all Victorian women, non-binary and gender-diverse individuals.
Telephone: 1300 134 130