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Julian Heng, Group Leader

Julian attained his Bachelor’s of Science from UWA and his PhD from the University of Melbourne, working at the Howard Florey Institute. He trained as a CJ Martin Fellow and then as an MRC Career Development Fellow at the National Institute for Medical Research (UK). In 2010, he established his independent laboratory at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute before relocating his research to the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in August 2014. In 2017, he commenced with Curtin University as an Associate Professor of Neuroscience.  Julian is interested to understand how the brain is put together, and how we can apply this knowledge to give individuals the best start to life as well as to improve mental health as we age.

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Isabel Hemming, Research Assistant (casual)

Isabel is investigating the genetic basis for intellectual disability in humans, with particular focus on the basis for mutations to genes that disrupt the production of neurons in the fetal brain. While she is dedicated to her project, Isabel’s chocolate cake is also the stuff of legend. Isabel’s PhD thesis was recently passed by the examination committee at the University of Western Australia. Congratulations Dr Hemming!

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Martina Mariano, PhD student

Martina hails from Italy and attained her Masters in Genetics and Molecular Biology, with an emphasis on forensic genetics. Martina has an interest in understanding genetic variation in health and disease, and has previously interned with a Forensic Genetics Laboratory to apply DNA analysis methods to human identification. While a Master’s student, she interned with the Carabinieri Scientific Investigation Department to validate techniques for genotype-phenotype identification. After attaining her Master’s degree, she applied her skills to work as a registered Biologist and develop prenatal and pre-implantation testing for genetic abnormalities such as trisomies. She was awarded a prestigious IPRS scholarship from UWA to realise her ambition to develop novel assays for the functional diagnosis and treatment of human genetic disorders. In her spare time, Martina is a remarkable baker of vegan treats and delightful desserts.

Jordan Rowlands, PhD student

Jordan is a PhD student at Curtin University, with a background in molecular biology and cell signalling. Jordan is investigating the molecular mechanisms through which TBCD and its disease-associated missense variants influence the metabolic homeostasis of neural cells. He hails from the best of the southern city suburbs of Perth, home to Luke Longley, Jebediah, and Bon Scott. When he is not in the lab, which is not often at all, he can be found in the gym, or having a meal break.