Diana Wong is currently a PhD Candidate in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales. Diana spent 4 years in Hong Kong between 2009 and 2013 at the University of Hong Kong, Microbiology Department. During this time she worked under Prof. Malik Peiris and Dr. Hui-Ling Yen as a research assistant before completing her Masters of Philosophy degree. Her thesis characterised the fitness and transmissibility of oseltamivir-resistant seasonal influenza (H1N1) viruses that carry the H275Y mutation. She returned to Sydney in 2013 to continue working as a research assistant at Virology Research Laboratory Cytomegalovirus group, before starting her PhD in 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Wendy van Zuijlen and Prof. William Rawlinson. Her project investigates the potential role of clinical pharmacokinetic monitoring and resistance testing among kidney transplant patients in the optimisation of antiviral therapy targeting human cytomegalovirus.
Sonia Underwood (Isaacs)
Sonia Underwood (Isaacs) is a PhD candidate in the School of Women’s and Children’s Health and the University of New South Wales.
She is part of the viruses and type 1 diabetes group under the supervision of Professor Maria Craig. Sonia completed her Honours project in 2015, developing a method to sequence near full-length enteroviruses from clinical samples, which was used to investigate associations between enterovirus infection in VIGR cohort children and resulting islet autoimmunity.
Sonia’s PhD is focusing on identifying and characterising enteroviruses and the virome from children at risk of developing type 1 diabetes in both the VIGR and ENDIA cohort studies. Her project uses next generation sequencing-based platforms such as Illumina MiSeq and HiSeq, as well as Virome Capture Sequencing of Vertebrate viruses to characterise viruses and how they change over time in both humans and a beta cell (islet infection) model. She hopes to provide a greater understanding of the impact of viral populations, mutations and evolution on diabetogenicity, which may aid in the design of future vaccination studies targetting T1D prevention.
– Finalist in Open Senior Division Oral Presentations for Tow Awards, Prince of Wales Hospital, 2019
– International conference poster presentations for Australasian Virological Society Meeting 2019 (New Zealand) and JDRF nPOD Annual Scientific Meeting 2016 (Miami, USA)
– University of Queensland Travel Scholarship, for Winter School of Mathematical & Computational Biology in 2016
– Research Training program (formerly Australian Postgraduate Award), 2016-2019
– Environmental Determinants of Islet Autoimmunity (ENDIA) Study PhD Top-Up Scholarship
– Peter Farrell Cup First Place Winner (Team Leader), UNSW, 2014
- Isaacs, S. R., K. W. Kim, J. X. Cheng, R. A. Bull, S. Stelzer-Braid, F. Luciani, W. D. Rawlinson, and M. E. Craig. 2018. Amplification and next generation sequencing of near full-length human enteroviruses for identification and characterisation from clinical samples. Scientific Reports 8: 11889.
- Isaacs, S. R., J. Wang, K. W. Kim, C. Yin, L. Zhou, Q. S. Mi, and M. E. Craig. 2016. MicroRNAs in Type 1 Diabetes: Complex Interregulation of the Immune System, Cell Function and Viral Infections. Current Diabetes Reports 16.
- Kim, K. W., D. W. Allen, T. Briese, J. J. Couper, S. C. Barry, P. G. Colman, A. M. Cotterill, E. A. Davis, L. C. Giles, L. C. Harrison, M. Harris, A. Haynes, J. L. Horton, S. R. Isaacs, K. Jain, W. I. Lipkin, K. McGorm, G. Morahan, C. Morbey, I. C. N. Pang, A. T. Papenfuss, M. A. S. Penno, R. O. Sinnott, G. Soldatos, R. L. Thomson, P. Vuillermin, J. M. Wentworth, M. R. Wilkins, W. D. Rawlinson, and M. E. Craig. 2019. Higher frequency of vertebrate infecting viruses in the gut of infants born to mothers with type 1 diabetes. Pediatric Diabetes.
- Kim, K. W., D. W. Allen, T. Briese, J. J. Couper, S. C. Barry, P. G. Colman, A. M. Cotterill, E. A. Davis, L. C. Giles, L. C. Harrison, M. Harris, A. Haynes, J. L. Horton, S. R. Isaacs, K. Jain, W. I. Lipkin, G. Morahan, C. Morbey, I. C. N. Pang, A. T. Papenfuss, M. A. S. Penno, R. O. Sinnott, G. Soldatos, R. L. Thomson, P. J. Vuillermin, J. M. Wentworth, M. R. Wilkins, W. D. Rawlinson, and M. E. Craig. 2019. Distinct gut virome profile of pregnant women with type 1 diabetes in the ENDIA study. Open Forum Infectious Diseases 6.
- Kim, K. W., J. L. Horton, C. N. I. Pang, K. Jain, P. Leung, S. R. Isaacs, R. A. Bull, F. Luciani, M. R. Wilkins, J. Catteau, W. I. Lipkin, W. D. Rawlinson, T. Briese, and M. E. Craig. 2019. Higher abundance of enterovirus A species in the gut of children with islet autoimmunity. Scientific Reports 9: 1749.
- Craig, M. E., K. W. Kim, S. R. Isaacs, M. A. Penno, E. E. Hamilton-Williams, J. J. Couper, and W. D. Rawlinson. 2019. Early-life factors contributing to type 1 diabetes. Diabetologia 62: 1823-1834.
Ece Eglimezer is a PhD candidate in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales. She is part of the Cytomegalovirus group under the supervision of Professor William Rawlinson. Her project focuses on the pathogenetic mechanisms of CMV infection in fetal neural malformation.
Ece was previously a research assistant at the Virology Research Laboratory from 2016 to 2017, working on a number of clinical trials and projects.
Greg is a PhD candidate under the supervision of Dr Sacha Stelzer-Braid and Professor William Rawlinson. His research is focused on the development of rapid “point-of-care tests” (POCT) for respiratory viruses, to improve patient outcomes and reduce the high burden of these infections. For this project VRL has formed an active collaboration with the Smart Materials and Surfaces Group at the UNSW School of Chemistry to develop novel nucleic acid detection techniques using gold nanoparticles.
Greg previously completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Newcastle (B Biomedical Science) before joining VRL.
- Walker GJ; Stelzer-Braid S; Shorter C; Honeywill C; Wynn M; Willenborg C; Barnes P; Kang J; Pierse N; Crane J; Howden-Chapman P; Rawlinson WD (2019) Viruses associated with acute respiratory infection in a community-based cohort of healthy New Zealand children.’, J Med Virol, http://dx.doi.org/10.
- Egilmezer E; Walker GJ; Bakthavathsalam P; Peterson JR; Gooding JJ; Rawlinson W; Stelzer-Braid S (2018) ‘Systematic review of the impact of point-of-care testing for influenza on the outcomes of patients with acute respiratory tract infection’, Reviews in Medical Virology, vol. 28, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rmv.
- Theis T, Lau KA, Gray JL, Oxenford CJ, Walker GJ, Rawlinson WD. Proficiency testing for thedetection of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirusdemonstrates global capacity to detect Middle East respiratorysyndrome coronavirus.J Med Virol. 2018;90:1827?1833., https://doi.org/10.1002/jmv.
Honours Students 2020
Clare is a Medicine Honours student, currently under the supervision of Professor Maria Craig and Dr Ki-Wook Kim. Her project is focusing on the gut virome in early life and childhood and its relationship to islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes as part of the larger ENDIA prospective cohort study. Clare is in her 4th year of the Bmed/MD at UNSW and was recently awarded the Academic Excellence Prize and Graduate Prize for the Bachelor of Medical Studies.
Dylan is a Bachelor of Science (Honours) student in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales. He is completing his project under the supervision of Professor Maria Craig and Dr Ki Wook Kim. Dylan’s research is focused on using next-generation sequencing technologies to characterise the viruses present in children who are at-risk of developing type 1 diabetes as part of a larger national study, the Environmental Determinants of Islet Autoimmunity (ENDIA). It is hopeful that the information gathered from his research will be useful in producing vaccinations to protect children against some of the key environmental contributors of islet autoimmunity.
Jessica is a Medicine ILP student, currently under the supervision of Professor Maria Craig and Dr Ki-Wook Kim. Her project is focusing on the relationship between respiratory infection during pregnancy and in early life and islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes. The research is conducted as part of the larger ENDIA prospective cohort study. She is currently in the 4th year of her Bmed/MD degree at UNSW.
Glen is a BABS Honours student from the University of New South Wales (UNSW). His research project investigates molecular changes that occur in human foeti due to cytomegalovirus infection (CMV) and novel therapeutics in treating CMV infection. He is a part of the cytomegalovirus group supervised by Professor William Rawlinson. Glen is currently finishing of a double degree of Commerce/ Advanced Science (Honours) from UNSW.