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Assistant Professor Sandra Encalada

Sandra Encalada is the Arlene and Arnold Goldstein Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine, and a member of the Dorris Neuroscience Center at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. She received a B.A. in Physics from Earlham College, a M.S. in Population Genetics from the University of Florida, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Oregon, working with Dr. Bruce Bowerman. Her postdoctoral training was at the University of California San Diego in the laboratory of Dr. Larry S. B. Goldstein where she was a Damon Runyon Fellow. She started her independent laboratory at Scripps Research in 2011, where her lab has been investigating the mechanisms of regulation of molecular motors and intracellular transport in neurons. Her lab also integrates and extends the knowledge of motor regulation to dissect the role that defective vesicular transport plays in the accumulation of misfolded proteins inside axons to cause neurodegeneration using a combination of genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, high- and super-resolution microscopy and electron microscopy approaches in Caenorhabditis elegans and mice. Dr. Encalada has been the recipient of a Glenn Foundation Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging, a Baxter Foundation Young Faculty Award, and an Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award.

Assistant Professor Christian Frøkjær-Jensen 

Christian Frøkjær-Jensen is currently an Assistant Professor at KAUST, where he tries to keep his lab focused on developing methods for synthetic genome biology in C. elegans. His scientific education started with physics and biophysics (University of Copenhagen - B.S. in 2000 and M.S. in 2002), continued with neuroscience (University of Oregon, M.S. in 2004) and concluded with health sciences (University of Copenhagen Medical School, Ph.D. 2008). His post-doctoral work began with projects related to developing genome editing technologies in Erik Jorgensen's laboratory at HHMI/University of Utah (2008 - 2014). "Bugs" in how transgenes were expressed led to projects with Andrew Fire at Stanford University (2014-2017) on how non-coding DNA may play an important role in cellular self-recognition. Recently, he has worked on improving an engineered system for non-Mendelian inheritance where progeny inherit exclusively paternal DNA.

Dr Steven Zuryn

Steven Zuryn is a Stafford Fox Fellow and group leader at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), University of Queensland (Australia). He received his Ph.D at the University of Queensland, studying mitochondrial physiology before undertaking postdoctoral research at the Institut Génétique Biologie Moléculaire Cellulaire (IGBMC) in Strasbourg, France. During this time, he worked on the epigenetic mechanisms that ensure the robustness of changes in cell identity and was supported by Fellowships from the Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer and the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale, before being awarded a laureate by the Fondation des Treilles. In late 2015, he opened his own laboratory at the QBI, where his group combines its expertise in mitochondrial biology and epigenetics to uncover fundamental genetic principles of the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA). Throughout his research career, Steven has capitalised on the powerful genetic model system of C. elegans to address complex biological questions. His group, which is now part of the QBI’s Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research, uses this elegant organism to probe deep underlying principles of mtDNA quality control, mosaicism, and inheritance.

Dr Yee Lian Chew

Yee Lian Chew obtained her PhD under the supervision of Dr Hannah Nicholas/Professor Juergen Goetz at the University of Sydney. She moved to Cambridge, UK as a Medical Research Council Career Development Fellow in 2015, and later a European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-2018) in the lab of Dr William Schafer at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. She is currently a Lecturer at the School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience at UOW, and is based at IHMRI. Her research focuses on mapping neuromodulator networks and functionally characterising their roles in C. elegans adaptive behaviour.

Dr Jie Liu

Dr Liu received his Ph.D. degree in biophysics at Huazhong University of Science and Technology under the supervisor of Dr Tao Xu in 2005. He joined Dr Shawn X.Z. Xu's group at the University of Michigan as a postdoctoral fellow in 2006, and was promoted to Assistant Research Scientist in 2015. He started his laboratory at the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology of Monash University in 2018. Using a multidisciplinary approach, including electrophysiology, genetic manipulation, optogenetics, and neuronal imaging in the model organism C. elegans, his research primarily focuses on sensory perception and corresponding behavioral outputs, and the mechanisms underlying functional ageing in the nervous system.

Dr Greg Davis

Greg achieved his PhD at Monash University in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology where he investigated how small endo-siRNAs influence germline chromosome integrity. Following this, he joined the Department of Developmental Biology at Monash as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow where he investigated how microRNAs influence neurodevelopment. He is currently a group leader at Federation University and his research focuses on how the genome maintains genomic integrity and chromosomal stability. This involves investigating a combination of mechanisms including small RNA gene regulatory pathways, epigenetics, DNA damage repair mechanisms, and meiotic recombination. 

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