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Our staff

Meet the team
Our experts help you get the most from our state–of-the-art tools and techniques.

Director

Professor Peter Lay

Professor Peter Lay is the Academic Director of Sydney Analytical and Professor in the School of Chemistry, Faculty of Science.

Technical staff

Peter Southon

Background

Peter’s scientific background is in materials chemistry, with over 15 years’ experience as a postdoctoral researcher and laboratory manager. He has a particular interest in characterisation of the properties and structure of novel microporous materials such as coordination frameworks and metal-organic frameworks.

Role

As Operations Manager, Peter’s job is to know a little bit about everything and keep the cogs turning in the background. He has general oversight of administration, reporting, finance, policy, procurement and outreach.

Vibrational Spectroscopy team

Liz Carter

Background

Liz has worked at the University since 2000 and has had the opportunity to assist researchers from a wide range of fields. This exposure has strongly influenced her own research interests which include microplastics, natural glasses (obsidian, tektites, fulgurites), hard and soft biological materials (cells, tissues, teeth, hair, wool) and cultural heritage objects (ceramics, coffins, textiles, pigments, manuscripts).

OrcID

Role

Liz is the manager of the Sydney Analytical Vibrational Spectroscopy node which is the largest facility of its type in Australia.  Liz is responsible for all day-to-day management and operating activities. She also provides advice, research support and assistance to researchers, students and other technical staff working in the facility.

Michelle Wood

Background

Dr Wood gained a BSc (Hons) in Analytical Chemistry – Forensic Science at UTS before moving to The University of Sydney to begin a PhD in bio-inorganic chemistry. After completing her PhD she joined the Vibrational Spectroscopy Core Facility, which has since become part of Sydney Analytical.

Role

Dr Wood assists in running of the vibrational spectroscopy laboratories and training users on all instruments including the XPS and nano-FTIR. She is also Sydney Analytical’s primary contact for commercial engagements and the safety officer for vibrational spectroscopy.

Sarah Kelloway

Background

Dr. Kelloway has varied experience across a range of techniques and associated sample preparation, including vibrational spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, combustion analyses, X-ray diffraction and petrography, with over a decade of experience in X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Having completed her undergraduate degrees (B.Sc., B.A.) and PhD at Sydney University, Dr. Kelloway has worked primarily in analytical chemistry laboratories at Sydney University and the University of New South Wales (XRF laboratory), whilst also mainintaing active research interests in the field of archaeological science.

Role

Dr. Kelloway works in the Vibrational Spectroscopy Facility, Sydney Analytical, assisting with the operation and maintenance of instrumentation, specifically Raman, Infrared and XRF spectrometers and the K-Alpha XPS/UPS system, as well as providing research support.

Joonsup Lee

Background

Dr Lee completed his bachelor’s in applied chemistry (Forensic Chemistry, Honours) at the University of Technology Sydney. He then moved to The University of Sydney where he completed his PhD in Chemistry, investigating the application of vibrational spectroscopic techniques to disease diagnostics and pathogenesis.

Role

Dr Lee can assist with all aspects of research involving vibrational spectroscopy from the design of experiments, sampling protocols, instrument training and data analysis including complex chemometric techniques. He has expertise with almost all of the instruments and accessories available within the facility.

 

Thérèse Harrison

Background

Thérèse has a background in Fine Arts and Chemistry. She specialises in the analysis of Cultural Heritage across a number of analytical techniques including vibrational and X-ray spectroscopy.

Role

Thérèse acts as the liaison between Sydney University Museums and Sydney Analytical. She offers training and support to internal and external users working in the field of Cultural Heritage. With an emphasis on non-destructive analysis, Thérèse provides researchers with assistance in the development and application of techniques suitable to the varied needs of different artefacts and materials using both portable and benchtop instrumentation to help achieve high quality research outcomes.

 

Patrick Doherty

Background

Patrick is currently completing his PhD within the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney. Focusing on electroactive Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) materials characterised by electrochemical, spectroscopic and theoretical techniques.

Role

Patrick is responsible for overseeing electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy within Sydney Analytical with a focus on radical characterisation in both materials and biological samples. 

Background

David commenced at the University of Sydney Marine Studies Centre moving to Geology and then Geoscience with the move to the Madsen Building.  Marine geophysics (underwater imaging) was his full time role evolving to more general fieldwork. Rockwork became part of his portfolio when the Madsen facility was refurbished.  

Role

The CAP Laboratory cuts rocks half as thick as human hair (30 microns) allowing examination under polarised light. David has started back, part time, with Sydney Analytical to invigorate rock sample preparation for the variety of scanners at Sydney Analytical.  

X-Ray techniques team

William Lewis

Background

William graduated with a BSc(Hons) with a project under Professor Ward Robinson and PhD  with Professor Peter Steel, both in Chemistry at the University of Canterbury. Following a short postdoctoral position with Professor Steel, he moved to the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham as Manager of the Crystal Structure Service in 2008. He was promoted to Senior Research Fellow in 2014. In 2018 he moved to the University of Sydney to take up the role of Core Facility Manager: X-ray in Sydney Analytical and the School of Chemistry.

Role

William is the manager of the X-ray arm of Sydney Analytical, and an expert in small molecule X-ray diffraction.

Paul Fitzgerald

Background

Paul did his PhD at the University of Sydney in soft-matter and complex fluids, predominantly studied through small angle scattering and atomic force microscopy.  He has expertise in the structure and behaviour of surfactant micelles, lyotropic liquid crystals, self-assembling polymer solutions, polymer latices, proteins in solution, microgels, emulsions and foams.

Role

Paul provides instruction, training and support for the X-ray instruments in Sydney Analytical with a particular focus on Small and Wide Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS/WAXS).

Sam Duyker

Background

Sam completed a PhD at the University of Sydney, after which he undertook post-doctoral work at ANSTO and Oxford before returning to Sydney on a Gritton Fellowship in the School of Chemistry. His experience lies in the physical and chemical characterisation of advanced functional materials with a focus on in situ experiments under non-ambient conditions.

Role

Sam supports researchers using X-ray powder diffraction techniques at Sydney Analytical. This includes training users in instrument operation and data analysis, including database matching and Rietveld refinements.

Drug Discovery team

Lorna Wilkinson-White

Background

Lorna has a BSc (Hons I) and PhD from the University of Sydney. Following her PhD, she spent eight years as a postdoctoral researcher in the field of protein structural biology, characterising a variety of protein:protein and protein:nucleic acid complexes. Since 2016 she has helped set up and manage the Fragment Based Drug Discovery (FBDD) platform at Sydney University, which has been part of Sydney Analytical since 2018.

Role

Lorna’s main role is to carry out FBDD screens for internal research groups as well as for the wider Sydney researcher community on a variety of protein targets. These screens are carried out using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) techniques. She also works with researchers to characterise protein:protein, protein:nucleic acid and protein:small molecule interactions using NMR, SPR, Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) and in-silico docking methodologies. Additionally, she runs NMR-based metabolomics analysis on a variety of sample types.

Mario Torrado del Rey

Background

Dr. Mario Torrado del Rey joined Sydney Analytical after a three-year postdoctoral experience in Prof Joel Mackay's laboratory, where he was working in protein structure, function and interactions, focusing on the improvement of the protein production stage. Mario completed his BSc in Biochemistry (2002) and his PhD in Molecular Biology (2012) at the Autonoma University of Madrid, Spain. His PhD work studied the stability-function relationship in homeodomains, in Dr. Juan Luis Asensio’s lab.

Role

Mario is a Staff Scientist at Protein Production and Characterisation (PPC) in the Drug Discovery node of Sydney Analytical. He is focused on helping scientists with their protein-related research problems, either training them or performing experiments for them. Mario has extensive experience with three expression hosts to produce recombinant proteins: bacteria, insect cells and mammalian cells. He is also skilled in protein purification methods, circular dichroism and other protein analysis techniques, and can provide advice on molecular biology solutions.

Chandrika Deshpande

Background

Chandrika completed her PhD from Macquarie University with Dr. Bridget where her research involved using stages of structural genomics to study proteins from the lateral gene transfer system in bacteria. Following this, Chandrika joined Dr. Mika Jormakka’s structural biology group in Centenary Institute, Sydney, where she worked on structural and functional characterization of important bacterial and eukaryotic membrane proteins for 7 years. During this period, she received the National Breast Cancer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and the University of Sydney Early Career Researcher’s grant. Prior to her PhD Chandrika worked as a Research Scientist at the Institute of Bioinformatics (India) on a wide variety of projects involving comparative genomics-based analysis.

Role

Chandrika is a staff scientist in the Protein Production and Characterisation (PPC) node. Chandrika is a biochemist and molecular biologist with a strong background in protein research. Chandrika’s role is to provide expert advice and technical support to assist researchers and train new users in a wide variety of experimental techniques including recombinant protein expression (bacterial and insect), protein purification, functional characterization and structural studies using x-ray crystallography. In addition, she also has the expertise in working with the more challenging and difficult membrane proteins.

Toby Passioura

Background

Dr Passioura conducts research at the interface of chemistry and biology with a focus on drug discovery.  After completing his PhD, he worked in the pharmaceutical sector before returning to academia with roles at the University of Tokyo and, more recently, the University of Sydney.

Role

Dr Passioura is responsible for all aspects of cyclic peptide drug discovery as part of both the University of Sydney’s Drug Discovery Initiative and Sydney Analytical. This includes both ultra-high-throughput screening and technology development.

Angela Nikolic

Background

Angela Nikolic has had extensive experience in all aspects of Lab Management and management of WHS issues in Molecular Biology/ Structural Biology focussed research labs based at the University of Sydney.

Role

Angela Nikolic is responsible for the Lab Management and Management of WHS issues in the Structural Biology Labs of University of Sydney together with managing the same for the University of Sydney’s Drug Discovery Initiative and Sydney Analytical arm based in the Molecular Bioscience Building (G08).