After finishing my Ph.D. in 1999, I moved to California where I did a post-doc with Randy Schekman looking at the molecular basis of export of proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum. In 2005 I set up my own lab at Columbia University in New York where we continue to probe this problem, with the broader aim of understanding how protein folding influences ER egress. My latest biological experiment is my own F1, a baby boy called Owen.
I had a short stint as a post-doc in Trevor's lab in 1996 and then moved to Milan to do a post-doc at the European Institute for Oncology under Kristian Helin (now director of BRIC in Copenhagen). Four years and one child later I returned to Australia but went to work with the Steve Dalton's cell cycle/stem cell group at Adelaide Uni/BresaGen. After three or so years in Adelaide (and the shift of the stem cell program to the USA) I finally returned to Melbourne (now with two kids in tow!) to run a chocolate distribution franchise to have a break from science for a while, and then went back to run a coursework masters programs in Molecular Sciences at La Trobe Uni. Most recently, I took on the role of Deputy Dean (Academic). I now have three kids on board (and that's enough of that too).
After graduating from the Lithgow Disco in 2002, I spent a wonder-filled year in Randy Scheckman's lab (UC Berkeley), but then the clang of the biological clock got deafening and I wanted to come back home... I joined Thomas Preiss' Lab at the VCCRI in Sydney with a Centenary Fellowship (2004-6) and was blessed with a wonderful daughter Elizabeth. I moved to Monash University to establish a systems biology research program, with my current work focused on RNA metabolism, and the development of new-generation transcriptomics technology.
Rebecca Lucattini (nee George)
Rebecca's thesis was entitled "Protein Targeting and the Nascent Polypeptide-Associated Complex in Saccharomyces cerevisiae". Rebecca studied the function of NAC in the delivery of proteins to mitochondria in vivo. She has been working as a Forensic Scientist at the Victoria Police Forensic Services Centre since 2000. Her role is as a case manager and she also manages the Victorian DNA Intelligence Database.
After finishing my Ph.D. in 2003, I moved to Monash University to pursue post-doctoral studies in structural biology with Jamie Rossjohn; looking at immune recognition and signaling. In 2008, I started my own lab at Monash University investigating structural basis of host-pathogen interactions; in particular the role of glycans in bacterial pathogenesis and physiology. In 2014, I moved to the Department of Animal, Plant and Soil Science at La Trobe University.
Andreas completed a research project in Trevor's lab in 1998 as part of his MSc in Chemical Engineering from Lund University. After his PhD in Experimental haemotology he completed a postdoc at RIKEN in the Genome Science laboratory and is now back in Sweden at the Karolinska Institute, using epigenetic profiling to investigate normal and malign hematopoesis.
Peter worked on the J-protein family of chaperones, finishing his PhD in 2003. He since worked as a senior research officer on the human GABA receptor in the lab of Professor Michael Parker at St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research. Peter experienced a mid life crisis and as a consequence when back to study medicine. He works now as a GP, with interests in infectious diseases, nutrition and emergency medicine, at the Broome Medical Clinic in Western Australia.
Johann Wieslander completed a Masters Project in the Lithgow lab in 1999 and completed a further year at Lund School of Biomedical Research. In 2001 he started a PhD in a joint venture between the Department of Immunotechnology (Lund University) and Alligator Bioscience. But this led to a realization that research at Alligator, focusing on robotization of assays, was what he really wanted and led to a position as manager of the company's IT resources. In 2006 Johann moved to a position as an IT consultant at ATEA and then in 2007 joined Sony Ericsson. In 2009 Johann started as a software architect focusing on operator customization on the Android platform (Android.com). Somewhere in this time he managed to get married and produce two kids, Ella and Viktor.
After completing an enjoyable Ph.D. study period in 2004, I was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to work as a post-doc in the laboratory of Professor Nikolaus Pfanner in Freiburg, Germany. There, I continued research focussed on understanding the mechanisms behind protein import into mitochondria. In 2007, I returned to Australia after receiving the University of Melbourne J.N. Peter's bequest Fellowship and in 2009 I moved to Monash University where I am establishing my own research group. Since returning to Australia my research has been focussed on understanding mitochondrial diseases.
I finished my Ph.D. in the Lithgow lab in 2004 and then moved to Heidelberg at the German Cancer Research Centre for a post-doc in cancer biology before taking a position with pharmaceutical giant Baxter Healthcare in Vienna. I recently joined DSM in the Netherlands, a food technology company specializing in fermentation and enzyme technology.
I did my honours and PhD studies with Trevor, and became close friends with TOM, TIM, BOB and finally SAM. I graduated in 2006 and was awarded a Peter Doherty Fellowship to move to La Trobe University to work with Prof. David Vaux on regulation of apoptosis. An EMBO Fellowship will see me off to Freiburg in Germany to continue studies into apoptosis and immunity with Prof. Georg Häcker.
After a postdoc in the Lithgow lab, I moved to Vancouver for another postdoc at the University of British Columbia with Patrick Keeling in 2005. I worked on a reduced form of mitochondria, called the mitosome. I continue to be interested in mitochondrial research in my current position as researcher in the group of Rolf Berge at the University of Bergen, Norway, where I want to influence mitochondrial health with bioactive compounds.
Joanne Hildebrand (nee Hulett)
Since completing my PhD studies in 2007 I have been a Postdoctoral Fellow in Gail Bishop's laboratory at the University of Iowa. The molecular and cellular biology skills I acquired in my work with yeast mitochondria have proven directly applicable to my current work in the field of immunology. My main focus is the signalling induced by TNF Receptor Superfamily members in B cells, which are strongly implicated in many human autoimmune diseases and immune cell cancers.
I completed my PhD studies as a close collaborator and 'honourary member' of the Lithgow Lab, where I studied the structural biology of mitochondrial outer membrane protein transport receptors using NMR. Upon finishing my PhD, I officially joined the Lithgow lab as a Postdoctoral Researcher where I studied the insertion and assembly machinary for outer membrane proteins in mitochondria. The foundations laid in the Lithgow lab helped me receive an NHMRC Biomedical ("Doherty") Postdoctoral Fellowship - I now work in the lab of Professor James Whisstock at Monash University, studying the structural biology and bioinformatics of all manner of pore forming proteins.
Nickie C. Chan
Nickie completed his PhD in 2008, studying the import and assembly of mitochondrial outer membrane proteins. He continues his research on mitochondria and is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. David Chan at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, California).
I completed my PhD on the subject of ‘Protein translocation in the remnant mitochondria of Giardia intestinalis' in 2008, discovering protein import and assembly machinery in the mitosomes of this parasite and evidencing the mitochondrial origin of these organelles. I am currently working with Dr. Ana Traven on transcriptional regulation in the pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. In March 2010, I moved to Toronto to take up a postdoctoral position in Dr. Gordon Keller's laboratory at the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, to study embryonic stem cell differentiation.
Pavel Dolezal spent three years in Trevor´s team and, although being back in the Czech Republic, he is still professionally and mentally linked to the country of weird sports and great coffee. Pavel is establishing his own group in the basement of Charles University in Prague with the research focus on the biogenesis of simple mitochondria known as mitosomes and hydrogenosomes . Warning: the stay in Trevor´s lab leaves long-term effects.
After completing a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology at The University of Melbourne I joined the Lithgow lab as a post-doc in 2008 where I gained an interest in, and learnt a great deal about bacterial transport systems. I then moved to the UK to take up a post-doc position in Gadi Frankel's lab at Imperial College to study translocation of bacterial effectors and their interactions with host cell proteins. I recently took up a tenured position at ICL to develop new research directions in bacterial pathogenesis.
I completed my PhD studies in 2010, working on the evolution of the mitochondrial protein import machinery components of the TIM and PAM complexes. I have moved to the laboratory of Professor Alan Cowman at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, to work on protein trafficking in Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria.
I undertook a PhD project with Trevor that involved the study of the BAM complex in the alpha-proteobacterium Caulobacter crescentus. The BAM complex in bacteria gave rise to the SAM complex in mitochondria. From this comparative study, we were able to define how the BAM protein machine evolved - working on the ancestral machinery for mitochondria was fantastic. I'm currently working as a post-doc in Ruth Kluck's lab to study the association of pro-apoptotic and pro-survival proteins to improve our understanding of mitochondrial aspects of programmed cell death in humans.
After leaving Trevor's lab in 2012 I moved to Prof Sven Pettersson's lab (Singapore) to try and understand how gut bacteria influence brain function and animal behaviour. I was awarded EIPOD and EMBO Fellowships to move to EMBL in Heidelberg (Germany) in the lab of Dr Nassos Typas, applying systems biology techniques to obtain a holistic understanding of host-bacterial interactions.
As an ARC Super Science Research Fellow in the Lithgow lab (2011-2014), I worked closely with a dynamic and collegial group of researchers to identify and define the intrinsic mechanisms of autotransporter protein folding and membrane insertion. In 2015 I took up a tenured position between the Research School of Biology and the Medical School at The Australian National University where I teach microbiology to medical students. My lab is focused on understanding how autotransporters are assembled into bacterial outer membranes, and how they function to mediate disease once they get there. I am also interested in reengineering autotransporters as recombinant protein production devices for use in biotechnology.
During my time in the Lithgow lab as an ARC Laureate Postdoctoral Fellow, I investigated the evolution and diversity of bacterial outer membrane protein families and domains, covering several types of secretion systems and the outer membrane protein assembly machineries, as well as other proteins associated with the bacterial cell surface. I have now taken up a position as senior scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge (UK) to work with Prof. Gordon Dougan, where I will extend my work on bacterial surfaces to explore how bacterial pathogens interact with their hosts, and how the host reacts when faced with a pathogenic organism.
I joined the Lithgow lab in 2009 with a background in chemistry with an interest in the molecular mechanisms that drove the evolution of mitochondria from their endosymbiotic ancestors. In my PhD, I developed Candida albicans, a human fungal pathogen, as a novel model system to study mitochondrial biogenesis using genetic and molecular approaches. In collaboration with Ana Traven's group (Monash University) I also investigated how mitochondrial outer membrane complexes (SAM and ERMES) contribute to the fitness and virulence of C. albicans. In 2015 I was awarded an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship to investigate the role of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in controlling mitochondrial dynamics in neurons. This research began in Dr Alex Whitworth's lab at the University of Sheffield and in 2015 we relocated to the Medical Research Council (MRC) Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge, UK. We use fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) to investigate the roles of mitochondria in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and motor neuron disease.