Dr Renee Goreham
School of Information and Physical Sciences (Physics)
- Phone:(02) 4913 8252
Medical research breakthroughs start small
Dr Renee Goreham’s interdisciplinary research into natural nanomaterials holds the promise of exciting medical breakthroughs in the areas of drug delivery, disease diagnosis and treatment.
Dr Renee Goreham works at the intersection of biology and nanotechnology. Her collaborative research focuses on the synthesis, characterisation and applications of nanomaterials—extremely tiny chemical substances that can be manufactured and used at small scale for a range of purposes, including novel forms of medical diagnosis and treatments.
Renee’s current work explores the exciting possibilities of custom-designed nanomaterials to target or label cells. She is most interested in nature’s own nanoparticles, called extracellular vesicles, and has been exploring how these natural materials can be used for earlier diagnosis and more effective drug delivery.
“Most living cells release nanosized extracellular vesicles and this area has exploded because of their applications in novel disease diagnosis and biocompatible drug delivery vehicles. My research uses extracellular vesicles for drug delivery by loading them with functional nanoparticles or capturing and detecting them for disease diagnosis.
“If new modes of treatment, detection and diagnosis can be developed, this would not only help patients and their families through difficult times, but also increase the health economy by decreasing hospital stays.”
More than meets the eye
Renee works with nanomaterials ranging in size from one to 100 nanometres. To put this in perspective, a sheet of newspaper is about 100,000 nanometres thick. At this incredibly minuscule scale, Renee explains that nanomaterials exhibit unusual characteristics when compared with the same material on a larger scale.
“I like everything small—more accurately, nanosized! Nanoparticles behave differently compared to bulk material. For example, imagine a lump of gold. Unlike this bulk gold, which does not react easily, nanosized spherical particles of gold form a ruby red solution, are reactive and have a potential use in disease treatment.”
Renee is exploring how a type of nanoparticle, called quantum dots, can be used for biomedical imaging. Quantum dots have been shown to help detect chemical and biological processes and agents, which allows for the identification of biomarkers like proteins and nucleic acids that play a vital role in the early detection of cancers and other diseases.
“I use quantum dot nanoparticles in my research that are fluorescent, due to their small size. Quantum dots are also used in Quantum dot Light Emitting Diode (QLED) TVs, but my research uses them to tag biological processes or for detection of entities, such as extracellular vesicles.”
A strong career trajectory
Renee recognises and champions the need for strong, cross-disciplinary research partnerships to achieve the best results. Her research collaborations stretch across the globe, from Australia to New Zealand and Germany, and she has plans to build these collaborations further over the coming years.
“Getting a team together across all areas of science is crucial to developing world-class research. I always strive to work in teams with an array of expertise and a like-mindedness in the way we perform research. Building each other up and developing a cohesive network is important to me.”
For Renee, prioritising collaboration over competition means also making time to mentor the next generation, and “paying forward” the support she has received from role models throughout her career.
“I have had great role models and mentors who were pivotal to my success. In the same way, I am passionate about supporting other young researchers. I believe in helping and mentoring others.”
This naturally curious researcher is just getting started in her career and has no plans to slow down. In collaboration with some of the brightest minds at the University of Newcastle and around the globe, Renee hopes to continue advancing medical outcomes by delivering even greater research insights in the near future.
“I want to become a world-renowned researcher in the area of nanotechnology, which means continuing to build my research group over the coming years and producing high-class research in my field. I have an addiction to research—discovering the unknown is my biggest driver!—and I’m proud of how much I’ve achieved already.”
- Doctor of Philosophy, University of South Australia
- English (Mother)
Fields of Research
|Title||Organisation / Department|
|Lecturer||University of Newcastle
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
|Dates||Title||Organisation / Department|
|1/3/2018 - 1/3/2019||Lecturer||Victoria University of Wellington
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Book (1 outputs)
Goreham RV, Preface to volume 3 (2019)
Chapter (1 outputs)
Goreham RV, Ayed Z, Ayupova D, Dobhal G, 'Extracellular vesicles: Nature s own nanoparticles', Comprehensive Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 27-48 (2019)
Biological systems often feature natural, functional nanomaterials, including hemoglobin¿s (6.5 nm), antibodies (12 nm), viruses (such as parvoviruses (18-26 nm), rhinovirus (30 n... [more]
Biological systems often feature natural, functional nanomaterials, including hemoglobin¿s (6.5 nm), antibodies (12 nm), viruses (such as parvoviruses (18-26 nm), rhinovirus (30 nm)), hepatitis (45 nm) and bacteria (such as Pelagibacter Ubique (0.37-0.89 µm)). These natural nanoscale materials and organisms have not only inspired the design of some nanomaterials but also promoted the research on the world of nanotechnology. During this article we will introduce interesting biological sphered nano-sized liposomes called extracellular vesicles. About 40 years ago, it was discovered that all cells release diverse types of membrane vesicles into the extracellular environment. Initially, it was thought that extracellular vesicles were simply artefacts or trash compartments discarded by cells. It is now known that they play a vital role in cell function and cell-to-cell or cell-to-host communication, immune signaling, differentiation, and have applications in the detection of many human diseases such as cancer, AIDS, neurodegenerative disorders and in the synthesis of some vaccines. Since their discovery, extracellular vesicles are attracting considerable interest in the scientific community. Hence, many diverse names have been used to refer to these vesicles including ectosomes, microparticles, microvesicles but the more general term used is extracellular vesicles. Mammalian extracellular vesicles can be classified into exosomes, microvesicles and apoptotic bodies depending on their size and biogenesis. On the other hand, bacterial extracellular vesicles are less studied compared to the mammalian extracellular vesicles. In Gram-negative bacteria, they are referred to as outer-membrane vesicles since they are produced by the pinching off the outer membrane. However, in Gram-positive bacteria, despite the fact that they lack an outer membrane, it was proven that they also produce vesicles which are referred to as membrane vesicles. During this article we will focus on the biogenesis, role and applications of mammalian and bacterial derived extracellular vesicles. Also, particular focus on the methods of isolation and subsequent characterization methods will be reviewed.
Journal article (21 outputs)
Malhotra S, Amin ZM, Dobhal G, Cottam S, Nann T, Goreham RV, 'Novel devices for isolation and detection of bacterial and mammalian extracellular vesicles.', Mikrochim Acta, 188 139 (2021) [C1]
Goreham RV, Ayed Z, Amin ZM, Dobhal G, 'The future of quantum dot fluorescent labelling of extracellular vesicles for biomedical applications', Nano Futures, 4 (2020) [C1]
Dobhal G, Datta A, Ayupova D, Teesdale-Spittle P, Goreham RV, 'Isolation, characterisation and detection of breath-derived extracellular vesicles', Scientific Reports, 10 (2020) [C1]
Slattery AD, Blanch AJ, Shearer CJ, Stapleton AJ, Goreham RV, Harmer SL, et al., 'Characterisation of the material and mechanical properties of atomic force microscope cantilevers with a plan-view trapezoidal geometry', Applied Sciences, 9 (2019) [C1]
Ayupova D, Dobhal G, Laufersky G, Nann T, Goreham RV, 'An In Vitro Investigation of Cytotoxic Effects of InP/Zns Quantum Dots with Different Surface Chemistries.', Nanomaterials, 9 (2019) [C1]
Ayed Z, Cuvillier L, Dobhal G, Goreham R, 'Electroporation of outer membrane vesicles derived from Pseudomonas aeruginosa with gold nanoparticles', SN APPLIED SCIENCES, 1 (2019) [C1]
Schroeder KL, Goreham RV, Nann T, 'Glucose Sensor Using Redox Active Oligonucleotide-Templated Silver Nanoclusters.', Nanomaterials, 9 (2019) [C1]
Bradley SJ, Kroon R, Laufersky G, Roding M, Goreham RV, Gschneidtner T, et al., 'Heterogeneity in the fluorescence of graphene and graphene oxide quantum dots', MICROCHIMICA ACTA, 184 871-878 (2017)
Schroeder KL, Goreham RV, Nann T, 'Graphene Quantum Dots for Theranostics and Bioimaging', PHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH, 33 2337-2357 (2016)
Goreham RV, Thompson VC, Samura Y, Gibson CT, Shapter JG, Koeper I, 'Interaction of Silver Nanoparticles with Tethered Bilayer Lipid Membranes', LANGMUIR, 31 5868-5874 (2015)
Delalat B, Goreham RV, Vasilev K, Harding FJ, Voelcker NH, 'Subtle Changes in Surface Chemistry Affect Embryoid Body Cell Differentiation: Lessons Learnt from Surface-Bound Amine Density Gradients', TISSUE ENGINEERING PART A, 20 1715-1725 (2014)
Goreham RV, Mierczynsk A, Smith LE, Sedev R, Vasilev K, 'Small surface nanotopography encourages fibroblast and osteoblast cell adhesion', RSC ADVANCES, 3 10309-10317 (2013)
Harding F, Goreham R, Short R, Vasilev K, Voelcker NH, 'Surface bound amine functional group density influences embryonic stem cell maintenance', Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2 585-590 (2013)
Gradient surfaces are highly effective tools to screen and optimize cell- surface interactions. Here, the response of embryonic stem (ES) cell colonies to plasma polymer gradient ... [more]
Gradient surfaces are highly effective tools to screen and optimize cell- surface interactions. Here, the response of embryonic stem (ES) cell colonies to plasma polymer gradient surfaces is investigated. Surface chemistry ranged from pure allylamine (AA) plasma polymer on one end of the gradient to pure octadiene (OD) plasma polymer on the other end. Optimal surface chemistry conditions for retention of pluripotency were identified. Expression of the stem cell markers alkaline phosphatase (AP) and Oct4 varied with the position of the ES cell colonies across the OD-AA plasma polymer gradient. Both markers were more strongly retained on the OD plasma polymer rich regions of the gradients. The observed variation of expression across the plasma polymer gradient increased with duration of stem cell culture. While maximum cell adhesion to the gradient substrate occurred at a nitrogen- to-carbon (N/C ratio) of approximately 0.1, Oct4 and AP expression was best retained at an N/C ratio < 0.04. Stem cell marker expression correlated with colony size and morphology: more compact, multilayered colonies with prominent F-actin staining arose as the N/C ratio decreased. Disruption of actin polymerization using Y-27632 ROCK inhibitor resulted in a collapse of the multilayer colony structure into monolayers with limited cell-cell contact. A corresponding decrease in expression of AP and Oct4 was observed. Oct4 expression along with 3D colony morphology was partially rescued on the OD plasma polymer rich regions of the gradient. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Mierczynska A, Michelmore A, Tripathi A, Goreham RV, Sedev R, Vasilev K, 'pH-tunable gradients of wettability and surface potential', SOFT MATTER, 8 8399-8404 (2012)
Lawn MA, Goreham RV, Herrmann J, Jaemting K, 'Particle number density gradient samples for nanoparticle metrology with atomic force microscopy', JOURNAL OF MICRO-NANOLITHOGRAPHY MEMS AND MOEMS, 11 (2012)
Michelmore A, Mierczynska A, Poh Z, Goreham RV, Losic D, Short RD, Vasilev K, 'Versatile gradients of chemistry, bound ligands and nanoparticles on alumina nanopore arrays', NANOTECHNOLOGY, 22 (2011)
Goreham RV, Short RD, Vasilev K, 'Method for the Generation of Surface-Bound Nanoparticle Density Gradients', JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 115 3429-3433 (2011)
Vasilev K, Sah VR, Goreham RV, Ndi C, Short RD, Griesser HJ, 'Antibacterial surfaces by adsorptive binding of polyvinyl-sulphonate-stabilized silver nanoparticles', NANOTECHNOLOGY, 21 (2010)
|Show 18 more journal articles|
Conference (2 outputs)
Goreham RV, Mierczynska A, Pierce M, Short RD, Taheri S, Bachhuka A, et al., 'A substrate independent approach for generation of surface gradients', THIN SOLID FILMS (2013)
Lawn MA, Goreham RV, Herrmann J, Jaemting AK, 'Particle number density gradient samples for nanoparticle metrology with atomic force microscopy', SCANNING MICROSCOPIES 2011: ADVANCED MICROSCOPY TECHNOLOGIES FOR DEFENSE, HOMELAND SECURITY, FORENSIC, LIFE, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND INDUSTRIAL SCIENCES, Orlando, FL (2011)
Number of supervisions
|Commenced||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
|2021||PhD||Development of an Electrochemical Breathalyser for Lung Cancer||PhD (Chemistry), College of Engineering, Science and Environment, The University of Newcastle||Principal Supervisor|
|2020||PhD||Biophysical properties of extracellular vesicles||Physics, Faculty of Science | University of Newcastle||Principal Supervisor|
|2020||PhD||The detection of E. Coli in water||Physics, Faculty of Science | University of Newcastle | Australia||Principal Supervisor|
|2019||PhD||Exploring the Avenues of Renewable Energy Storage: Redox Flow Batteries||PhD (Physics), College of Engineering, Science and Environment, The University of Newcastle||Co-Supervisor|
|2019||PhD||Detection platform for disease by targeting extracellular vesicles||Physics, Faculty of Science | University of Newcastle | Australia||Principal Supervisor|
|2019||PhD||Next Generation Aluminium Ion Batteries||PhD (Physics), College of Engineering, Science and Environment, The University of Newcastle||Consultant Supervisor|
|Year||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
Aminophosphine Reduction Mechanisms and the Synthesis of Indium Phosphide Nanomaterials
<div class="page" style="font-family:-webkit-standard;" title="Page 5"><div class="layoutArea"><div class="column"><p><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:URWPalladioL;">Indium phosphide (InP) nanomaterials stand poised to be adapted into a num- ber of high-value technological applications due to their well-placed band gap en- ergies. The quantum confinement of these semiconductors can give rise to size- dependent absorption and emission features spanning a large portion of the use- ful electromagnetic spectrum. InP materials can be employed as non-toxic blue- to red-emitting fluorophores that can be implemented in high value avenues such as biological probes, lighting applications, and lasing technologies. However, large scale development of these quantum dots (QD) has been stymied by the lack of af- fordable and safe phosphorus precursors. Syntheses have largely been restricted to the use of dangerous chemicals such as tris(trimethylsilyl)phosphine ((TSM)</span><span style="font-size:8pt;font-family:CMR8;vertical-align:-2pt;">3</span><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:URWPalladioL;">P), which is costly and highly sensitive to oxygen and water. Recently, less-hazardous tris(dialkylamino)phosphines have been introduced to produce InP QDs on par with those utilizing (TMS</span><span style="font-size:8pt;font-family:CMR8;vertical-align:-2pt;">3</span><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:URWPalladioL;">)P. However, a poor understanding of the reaction mechanics has resulted in difficulties tuning and optimizing this method.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:URWPalladioL;">In this work, density functional theory (DFT) is used to identify the mechanism of this aminophosphine precursor conversion. This understanding is then imple- mented to design an improved InP QD synthesis, allowing for the production of high-quality materials outside of glovebox conditions. Time is spent understanding the impact of different precursor salts on the reaction mechanisms and discerning their subsequent effects on nanoparticle size and quality. The motivation of this work is to formulate safer and less technical indium phosphide quantum dot syn- theses to foster non-specialist and industrial implementation of these materials.</span></p></div></div></div>
|Chem Sc Not Elsewhere Classifd, Victoria University of Wellington||Co-Supervisor|
|2018||Masters||Targeting exosomes with InP/ZnS quantum dots||Chem Sc Not Elsewhere Classifd, Victoria University of Wellington||Principal Supervisor|
Quantum dot bioconjugates for the detection of extracellular vesicles in saliva and breath
<p style="margin:0cm 0cm 0.0001pt -42.55pt;font-size:medium;font-family:'Times New Roman', serif;line-height:24px;">Nano-sized extracellular vesicles are released by most types of cells. They contain information about the cell they originate from and have been shown to be involved in a variety of cellular processes as well as diseases. However, their detection and characterisation has been challenging and non-standardised, which makes comparisons across literature very challenging. While exosomes are known to exist in complex biological fluids such as saliva, breast milk, blood, and urine, their separation and identification from these media are time-consuming. Many researchers use techniques such as transmission electron microscopy for physical characterization and western blot for protein identification, which are often not available in medical settings. Additionally, while these fluids can be easily obtained, acquiring similar samples from lung environments is a highly invasive procedure. While breath is</p><p style="margin:0cm 0cm 0.0001pt -42.55pt;font-size:medium;font-family:'Times New Roman', serif;line-height:24px;">known to transmit droplets from the lungs, the presence of exosomes in these condensates</p><p style="margin:0cm 0cm 0.0001pt -42.55pt;font-size:medium;font-family:'Times New Roman', serif;line-height:24px;">is unknown. In this project, functionalised InP/ZnS quantum dots were used to target exosomes from a number of biological sources and provide a gateway to more fully characterise their ensemble properties. The InP/ZnS quantum dots were synthesised, and their size dependency on the band gap was investigated in accordance with the theoretical effective mass approximation model for quantum dots. The QDs were produced with hydrophobic oleylamine ligands, and therefore had to be ligand exchanged to be used in biological applications. A range of ligand exchange methods was surveyed to probe the best balance between retention</p><p style="margin:0cm 0cm 0.0001pt -42.55pt;font-size:medium;font-family:'Times New Roman', serif;line-height:24px;">of original quantum yields and best colloidal stability in aqueous systems. The QDs were further conjugated to an antibody specific for CD63, the protein found on exosomes. The conjugation was confirmed using dynamic light scattering and surface plasmon resonance. Finally, the binding of the QD-Antibody probe to the exosome was confirmed using SPR and</p><p style="margin:0cm 0cm 0.0001pt -42.55pt;font-size:medium;font-family:'Times New Roman', serif;line-height:24px;">confocal microscopy. Further modifications of the assay system could lead to multiplex-detection of the different proteins on the exosomes, their characterisation, and a method for the rapid detection of diseases.</p>
|Chem Sc Not Elsewhere Classifd, Viclink (Victoria University of Wellington)||Principal Supervisor|
May 19, 2020
Dr Renee Goreham
School of Information and Physical Sciences
College of Engineering, Science and Environment
|Phone||(02) 4913 8252|
Callaghan, NSW 2308