Meet our talented and award winning teachers

Internationally recognised academics and active researchers teach our students. These academics are passionate, collaborative educators, who infuse their expertise into the curricula. They ensure students are prepared – not just for the workforce, but also for tackling the big health challenges of our time.

Associate Professor Terry Mulhern

Associate Professor Mulhern loves helping students learn.

He teaches Biochemistry in the Bachelor of Biomedicine, Science and the Doctor of Medicine, and has coordinated core subjects in the Bachelor of Biomedicine within the School of Biomedical Sciences for many years.

I’m excited by where structural biology is heading with techniques such as single particle cryo-electron microscopy and cryo-electron tomography, which are being set up at the Bio21 Institute. To be able to look inside cells and see molecular machines at near atomic resolution is incredible. I wish I was 21 again! I’d sign up for a PhD in this area in a heartbeat.

Associate Professor Mulhern was the 2018 winner of the David White Award for Teaching Excellence, for his education innovation and research. The Award is the University’s highest honour for teaching in Health and Science. He also received the 2019 Shimadzu Education Award from the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, which recognised his creative approach to education.

After realizing some time ago that teaching was his true passion, Associate Professor Mulhern transitioned to a full time Teaching Specialist role – and has found the past seven years to have been most fulfilling and satisfying of his academic career.

Associate Professor Terry Mulhern
Director of Teaching and Learning in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology

Associate Professor Heather Verkade

Associate Professor Verkade teaches Molecular Biology to second year students in the Bachelor of Biomedicine. This knowledge can then be applied to many different biomedical fields.

I love the fundamental nature of the field and teaching the absolute basis of life.

“We are trying to understand each individual’s genomic makeup, their microbiome, their environmental history, and how all of these interact to influence their health outcomes. This is leading to personalised medicine, but the deeper we delve, the more detail we discover, and the more we need to develop the skills to interpret all this information” Associate Professor Verkade says.

Winning the MDHS Award for Learning and Teaching Achievement, Associate Professor Verkade says her teaching improved when she started to apply scientific principles to it: “We need to use evidence-based approaches, tailored to specific situations, and to be constantly evaluating and critiquing our approaches.”

Associate Professor Heather Verkade
Teaching Specialist, second year Molecular Biology
Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology

Professor Sammy Bedoui

Professor Bedoui came to Melbourne from Germany attracted by the high-quality immunological research being carried out here. His laboratory in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology focuses on researching innate and adaptive cell interactions in immunity during infections.

Outside of his research, Professor Bedoui teaches Immunology to Biomedicine students and leads the international Melbourne-Bonn Graduate Training Program, with the University of Bonn in Germany.

In 2018, he won the University’s Award for Excellence in Internationalisation of Research for his contribution to the Bonn University program. Currently the program focuses on immunity to infection and brings together immunologists from the Universities of Bonn and Melbourne.

We are currently expanding this relationship to include other research areas such as oncology and neuroscience. I am proud of our partnership with the University of Bonn, which involves many researchers in the School that together train over 40 PhD students."
Professor Sammy Bedoui
Laboratory Head, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Director of Melbourne-Bonn Graduate School
Theme Leader Immunology, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute)

Dr Rosa McCarty

Dr McCarty is inspired by biomedical science education and its contribution to saving and changing lives.

“In my field, the importance of stem cell research has broadened from cellular therapies to a recognition of the utility of stem cells as tools to understand development, model disease, and develop and personalise therapeutics, ” Dr McCarty says.

As the co-ordinator of the Bachelor of Biomedicine third year capstone subject Frontiers in Biomedicine, Dr McCarty explores current and emerging health issues from individual and population perspectives with her students. She also lectures in Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

It’s an absolute privilege to teach our extraordinary students at the University of Melbourne.
Dr Rosa McCarty
Lecturer, Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology
Teaching Fellow in Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine at the Centre for Stem Cell Systems

Dr Charles Sevigny

As a teaching specialist, Dr Sevigny is responsible for face-to-face teaching, curriculum design, and oversight of the Physiology major. Dr Sevigny has worked to improve the delivery of lectures to students and trialed many techniques to improve active learning and the student experience.

"Blending hands-on and face-to-face activities and the new exciting tools in digital learning is essential to create a well-rounded student experience," he says.

As part of this work, he launched the University’s Virtual Reality Learning Studio (VRLS) and now coordinates the Digital Learning Hub in the School of Biomedical Sciences, the largest room-scale VR learning studio in Australia. Dr Sevigny has designed online interactive adaptive learning modules supplemented with 3D animations including a 3D heart and in 2017 he received the coveted David White Award for Teaching Excellence for his work with the VRLS.

Our students are incredible. By the time they reach third-year, they are presenting complex scientific concepts and research in a way that rivals some academics. It’s amazing to watch.
Dr Charles Sevigny
Director, Digital Learning Hub, School of Biomedical Sciences
Lecturer, Department of Anatomy and Physiology

Associate Professor Karena Waller

Karena Waller contributes to the teaching and learning of microbiology and immunology to second and third year Bachelor of Biomedicine and Science students. She joined the Department of Microbiology’s academic teaching staff in 2010 after completing 15 years in local and international malaria research.

“The School and Biomedical Precinct is a really wonderful place to study and work as it offers an incredible wealth of research expertise in the biomedical sciences, including proximity to and input from some of the most internationally renowned parasite researchers.”

Passionate about innovation in teaching and learning and student experience and engagement, Karena was the recipient of the 2017 ASM David White Excellence In Teaching Award.

“My work at the University is fundamentally energised and motivated by student learning, achievement and experience – seeing students enjoy their time at the University, studying, achieving and growing as individuals, is a wonderful reward”

Associate Professor Karena Waller
Lecturer & Subject Coordinator, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Deputy Program Director, Bachelor of Biomedicine | Academic Programs Coordinator | Majors Coordinator

Associate Professor Jason Ivanusic

Jason Ivanusic is a teaching and research academic and researcher in the School of Biomedical Sciences. He spends half his time teaching Anatomy to Medicine, Physiotherapy, Biomedicine and Science students, and the other half doing neuroscience research. His research interest is in understanding the neurobiology of pain, with a view to identifying mechanisms to target for therapeutic benefit.

“With biomedicine rapidly evolving there are so many new and enabling technologies that allow us to answer questions in ways that have not been possible in the past – and start asking new questions that we haven’t been able to conceptualise before. It’s an exciting time to be learning about biomedicine, and an exciting time to be contributing to biomedical research.”

As a recipient of an Australian Award for Learning and Teaching, Jason believes students learn best when engaged in active learning.

Introducing novel and innovative approaches to teaching anatomy and inspiring students - seeing the ‘light bulbs’ switch on in students, when they get excited about their learning -  is what I enjoy most about my job.
Associate Professor Jason Ivanusic
Head of Pain and Sensory Mechanisms Lab
Lecturer, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

Dr Michelle Rank

Dr Michelle Rank teaches human anatomy with specialist expertise in neuroanatomy and musculoskeletal anatomy. She is committed to pursuing excellence in anatomy teaching through educational leadership and development of novel digital teaching and assessment resources. Dr Rank’s teaching practice includes digital anatomy resources such as virtual and augmented reality, and 3D anatomy apps to enhance student learning.

Her Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) research program investigates the impact of digital teaching resources on educational outcomes. She is especially interested in exploring how best to co-create authentic assessment strategies with students.

Receiving the prestigious 2021 MDHS Award for Learning and Teaching Achievement was an honour – as is teaching human anatomy to almost 1000 students each year, including undergraduate Biomedicine and graduate Medicine students. I have enjoyed designing novel digital resources, including 3D digitised anatomical specimens, and deploying these resources to create a rich multimodal learning experience.

Dr Michelle Rank, PhD
Senior Lecturer in Topographical Anatomy
Department of Anatomy and Physiology

Dr Sarah Londrigan

Dr Sarah Londrigan completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours) and PhD research at the University of Melbourne in 2002, where she identified novel cell surface receptors for rotavirus entry during infection of host cells. Her postdoctoral research from 2002 to 2008 at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) involved creating immunomodulatory adenoviruses that generated local immunosuppression during islet transplantation to treat Type I diabetes. Since then, Sarah's research has focused on pathways that influenza, and other respiratory viruses, use to infect host cells. Specifically, Dr Londrigan is investigating how airway immune cells control viral replication to prevent severe infection. Her current projects include investigating why particular respiratory viruses are highly pathogenic, leading to very severe disease.

After re-joining the Department in 2008, teaming up with Professors Andrew Brooks and Patrick Reading, I have expanded my research interests in virus-host interactions, focusing on influenza virus. My group’s research program is working to understand the role of innate immunity in controlling influenza and other respiratory viruses including SARS-CoV-2. In particular, we study macrophages and their ability to restrict virus infection.
Dr Sarah Londrigan, PhD
Senior Lecturer Virology
Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Dr Charlotte Clark

As a teaching specialist in the Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Dr Charlotte Clark focuses on creating engaging eLearning resources which expose students to the content and skill required to succeed in their studies.

"I then design active learning workshops where students work in groups to solve problems that helps consolidate their learning and further develop the skills required."

And as Charlotte says, learning is a journey that never ends.

For every question you ask you will always find more questions...I used to think that learning meant finding out the answers to a question and then remembering that. But learning is so much more than that. In many cases there is no single answer to a question and there is always more to learn

Dr Clark has recently been appointed as a Flexible Academic Planning (FlexAP) Education Innovation Fellow in the MDHS. This role recognises her learning and teaching expertise and leadership in pedagogy and will see her promoting intra-faculty FlexAP initiatives, delivering faculty-level workshops and seminars and supporting the design and implementation of evaluation activities of FlexAP projects.

Dr Charlotte Clark
Teaching Specialist, Department of Anatomy & Physiology
Flexible Academic Planning (FlexAP) Education Innovation Fellow, MDHS