Antibiotic resistance is a grand challenge facing humanity, marked by the concerning rise of bacterial strains resistant to all known antibiotics. I will use cutting-edge synthetic chemistry to explore and fine-tune new antibiotic drug leads which are derived from an unconventional yet highly promising natural source—the bacteria in your gut.
Building molecules is my passion. Through billions of years of evolution, Nature is capable of producing compounds with astonishingly diverse shapes, sizes and biological functions. My overarching ambition is to use “bio-inspired” synthetic chemistry to refine Nature’s templates as new treatments to tackle antibiotic resistance and human disease.
Born and raised in the US, I carried out my PhD at the University of Sydney, where I designed tools to build bioactive peptides and simultaneously fell in love with Australia. I then returned to the US to work with a world-renowned organic chemist at the Scripps Research Institute and with leading industry collaborators to develop new strategies to streamline the construction of therapeutic molecules.
Now at the ANU, I am an enthusiastic educator, STEM advocate and research leader working at the interface of chemistry and biology. My dedicated team of “molecule builders” seeks to harness Nature’s elegant designs as next-generation therapies.
Skills & Expertise
- Synthetic and medicinal chemistry
- Peptide and protein science
- University teaching
- Science communication
- Equity in STEM
"No other funding body offers the professional development and leadership training opportunities available through Westpac. These benefits will enable me to maximise the impact of my research and my potential as a scientific leader."
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- Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship
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