Professor Christopher Scarlett

Applied Sciences

Professor Christopher Scarlett's research interests have primarily focused on signalling pathways in pancreatic cancer to identify novel therapeutic and chemopreventative strategies, as well as defining the role of bone marrow derived cells in the development of the normal pancreas, pancreatic injury and regeneration, and pancreatic cancer.

» Christopher's research profile

Deputy Directors

Dr Jennette Sakoff


Dr Jennette Sakoff is an experienced cell biologist and Chief Hospital Scientist in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital.  She has made significant contributions to cancer research particularly in the development of small molecules for the treatment of cancer. Areas of expertise includes cell culture, drug screening, cell biology, proteomics, cell cycle analysis, drug combination studies, clinical toxicity.

» Jennette's research profile

Associate Professor Ian Grainge

Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Dr Ian Grainge is interested in all aspects of how bacteria pass on their genetic information, from DNA replication to chromosome segregation and accurate cell division.

» Ian's research profile

Other Committee Members

Dr Peter Galettis

Clinical Pharmacology

Dr Peter Galettis's research interests are entirely within the field of clinical pharmacology and toxicology, specializing in assay development for use in drug monitoring for the last 25 years, focussing on anticancer agents and drugs of abuse .

» Peter's research profile

Associate Professor Clovia Holdsworth


Associate Professor Clovia Holdsworth trained as a polymer chemist with considerable experience and knowledge in controlled free radical polymer synthesis with focus on polymer functionalisation, regulation of molecular weight and its distribution, and the use of these synthetic methodologies for the synthesis of specialised polymers for various applications.

» Clovia's research profile

Dr Shaun Roman

Biological Sciences

Dr Shaun Roman is a molecular biologist working in the fields of gene expression and reproductive toxicology.  Shaun is interested in the effects of toxicants on the male germ line. His group explores the detrimental effects that the everyday chemicals we consume have on the male germ line. These studies utilise a combination of detailed molecular analysis of isolated cells through to long-term, whole-animal and multigenerational, exposure studies. The power of combining these approaches has been recognised internationally.

» Shaun's research profile

Dr Michela Simone


Dr Michela Simone’s research interests lie under the broad umbrella of medicinal chemistry with a glycobiological spin! She is interested in the synthesis and evaluation of novel classes of glycosidase inhibitors from carbohydrate starting materials to molecular recognition and supramolecular chemistry. Recently she has also moved into the area of bioinorganic chemistry primarily as relating to cancer research, and the field of renewable energy from chemical manipulations of biomass.

» Michela's research profile

Early Career Researcher

Dr Karla Mettrick


Dr Karla Mettrick’s research focuses on furthering the understanding of key processes within pathogenic bacteria with the primary goal of discovering novel targets for antibiotic development. In Dr Mettrick’s research she utilises various molecular microbiology techniques to investigate bacteria such as Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Student Representative

Ms Caitlin Romanis

Caitlin’s interests predominantly lie in canvasing the microbiomes of various niche environments for environmental and medical purposes. She is currently investigating the molecular triggers of cyanobacteria bloom development including characterising the factors driving bloom composition and variation.


Associate Professor Nikola Bowden

Dr Nikola Bowden, recipient of the 2015 Young Tall Poppy Science Award, is investigating DNA repair to unlock the mysteries of melanoma and provide new hope for patients world-wide.

» Nikola's research profile

Dr Khay Fong

Dr Khay Fong investigates the fundamental aspects of nanostructured materials in order to assess their biomedical applicability.

» Khay's research profile

Dr Karl Hassan

Dr Karl Hassan applies cutting edge tools in molecular microbiology, genomics, and biochemistry to study our bacterial friends and foes.

» Karl's research profile

Dr Madeleine Hinwood

Dr Madeleine Hinwood is using research to strengthen our knowledge of how mental illnesses develop, advance evidence-based treatments and preventions, and improve public access to safe, effective medication.

» Madeline's research profile

Professor Peter Lewis

Biological Sciences

Professor Peter Lewis' research career has focused on the gram positive bacterium Bacillus

» Peter's research profile

Professor Adam McCluskey

Medicinal Chemistry

Professor Adam McCluskey has in the chemical biology of endocytosis, in particular the development of novel therapies centred on the modulation (inhibition and stimulations) of two key proteins: clathrin and dynamin.  Targeting these proteins, his team is exploring new drug targets in cancer, epilepsy, neuropathic pain and kidney disease using cutting edge flow chemistry approaches.

» Adam's research profile

Professor Jennifer Martin

Clinical pharmacology

Optimising choice, dose and timing of medicines for a particular patient are the focus of the clinical work and research career of Professor Jennifer Martin, inaugural Co-Director of the PRC. Jennifer co-leads the Centre for Human Drug Research which focuses on taking molecules from the clinic into early phase human trials, and trials of rational combination therapies to enhance clinical outcomes.

» Jennifer's research profile

Professor Brett Neilan

Professor Neilan is an expert in molecular microbiology, genetic and genomic engineering and microbial chemistry. His team uses synthetic biology tools to discover and manufacture bioactive small molecules, including antibiotics, biotoxins, food preservatives and UV-absorbers.

» Brett's research profile

Associate Professor Jenny Schneider

Associate Professor Schneider continues to research in the areas of palliative care and oncology.

» Jenny's research profile

Conjoint Professor Stephen Ackland

Pharmacy and Experimental Pharmacology

Conjoint Professor Stephen Ackland’s research expertise are in the areas of basic and clinical pharmacology of anticancer drugs, including drug measurement, pharmacokinetics pharmacodynamics, and relevant genetics/genomics. Clinical trials in cancer mainly medical oncology.

» Stephen's research profile