Lana McClementsNew 3D multicellular models, diagnostics, and treatments for cardiovascular disease in women

Speaker: Dr Lana McClements

Bio: Dr McClements is a qualified Clinical Pharmacist who is now a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Science at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). She graduated with MPharm from King’s College London (UK) and after five years of working at two hospitals in London as a Clinical Pharmacist, Dr McClements was awarded a PhD scholarship and completed her PhD at Queen’s University Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK) in 2014. In 2018, Dr McClements moved to UTS to take up a lectureship position. As a chief investigator over the last 5-7 years, she has led impactful research program that strives to improve women’s health from pregnancy and beyond, and from bench to bedside. She discovered and patented two new blood-based biomarkers of impaired angiogenesis in pregnancy, which are being commercialised for prediction and diagnosis of preeclampsia. She is also developing innovative 3D multicellular models of early placenta and women’s heart disease, in collaboration with industry partners, biomedical engineers and clinicians. Her recently funded work by the Cardiac and Vascular Health SPHERE (Maridulu Budyari Gumal) Clinical Academic Network will facilitate the development of a new 3D platform for personalised medicine management of women at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which is based on bioengineered cardiac spheroid models of the human heart. She is also leading the development of an emerging treatment for preeclampsia based on mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vehicles, funded by the NSW Cardiovascular Research Network (CVRN) through the National Heart Foundation of Australia. Preeclampsia is a dangerous cardiovascular disease in pregnancy without a cure and a leading cause of death and future disease (cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological disease) in both mothers and their offspring. Dr McClements contributes to a culture of excellence beyond the borders of her own research including her leadership of the Academic Women in Science (AWiS) network (~100 women) and as the Chair of the Science Equity and Diversity Committee at UTS. She was awarded high commendation as an Emerging Health Researchers by BUPA Foundation in 2020 and was a finalist in the UTS Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence (Early Career Researcher 2020 and Research Leadership and Development 2022) and 2020 Johnson & Johnson Maternal Health Quickfire Challenge in the USA.


Aakanksha DixitUsing parasitic worms to treat multiple sclerosis in an animal model

Speaker: Dr Aakanksha Dixit

Bio: Dr. Aakanksha Dixit is a freshly minted Early Career Researcher. She completed her PhD with A/Prof Judith Greer’s group at UQ Centre for Clinical Research where she continues her research. Her research focuses on Multiple Sclerosis. She uses pre-clinical models of Multiple Sclerosis to enhance the translation of new therapeutic approaches for Multiple Sclerosis to the clinic.

About CCR Seminars

The UQ Centre of Clinical Research Seminars (CCR) are held fortnightly on Wednesdays from 12pm - 1pm (except during school holidays) currently on Zoom. The series features topics in multiple fields of research, presented by invited international, interstate and local researchers.

Venue

UQCCR Auditorium and Zoom https://uqz.zoom.us/j/87198801358