Auckland headshot

WEBSITE(S)| BioSciences

BIOGRAPHY

I have an MSc and PhD from the University of Warwick, UK (lab of Andrew McAinsh). Here, I studied the force generating mechanisms that move chromosomes during cell division using cell biology and in vitro reconstitution approaches. My work in the lab of Aryeh Warmflash at RICE builds on this training by taking it into a new model system - human stem cells. 
 
Stem cells are cells that possess the unique ability to develop into many distinct cell types. They are vital for normal development, homeostasis and repair but can also contribute to tumorigenesis and malignancy when deregulated. A key step in stem cell function is their ability to divide asymmetrically, creating two progeny that have distinct fates – one becomes a stem cell while the other differentiates into a functional cell. Despite significant evidence that major developmental signals contribute to asymmetric fate decisions, the molecular mechanism(s) that underpin this association are poorly understood. Our work aims to bridge this gap using high-resolution imaging of human stem cell fates in micropatterned colonies, a complex and powerful approach that has been pioneered by Dr Warmflash at RICE. 
 
Being part of both the Warmflash lab and RICE academy provides a fantastic opportunity to pursue your own ideas under the guidance of experienced mentors, a key step on the route to academic independence.  
 
Outside of science I have been a professional mountain bike rider for over a decade. I have been incredibly lucky to travel the world with this sport and intend to do so for as long as my body allows!