Nham Tran PhD
Deputy Head of School
Centre for Health Technologies
Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney -UTS web site
I carried out my PhD at Johnson and Johnson Research with Greg Arndt and Ian Dawes and received my award from The University of New South Wales in 2006. During my PhD we used long dsRNA as a potential tool to regulate genes in mammalian cells (FEBS Lett: 2004 Aug 27;573(1-3):127-34). Further to this, we developed a dual promoter cassette to express siRNAs in mammalian cells (BMC Biotechnol. 6;3:21).
I left Johnson and Johnson Research after my PhD and spent 7 years undertaking post-doctoral research at University of Sydney and The Centenary Institute. During my postdoc at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Sydney University, working with Prof Chris O’Brien and A/Prof. Barbara Rose, we publish several studies on miRNAs in head and neck cancer (Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Jun 22;358(1):12-7). In a subsequent study we further showed that miRNAs were dysregulated in salivary tumors and the PLAG1 gene was susceptible to miRNA regulation (Int J Cancer. 2009, 15;124(12):2855-63).
In 2010, I was awarded a 3 year UTS Chancellors Fellowship to explore the use of ncRNAs as bio-markers in cancer and in 2013, I started my own independent team at The Center of Health Technologies, UTS.
AFGW Fellow & Graduate Student
Samantha is an Australian Federation of Graduate Women Fellow who joined the group in 2011 as an honors student, graduating with first class honors. She continued on to a PhD program and is focused on discovering novel small RNA biomarkers for the rapid and early diagnosis of head and neck cancers. Samantha's work has already identified a suite of diagnostic serum miRNAs which are currently being tested in patients with oral cancer.
Her interest for biomarker discovery saw her attend the Wellcome Trust Advanced Course: Functional Genomics and Systems Biology, 2013. She hopes to use miRNA Seq to further characterize the expression of these small RNAs in other subsets of head and neck cancers.
Samantha's work has been recognized by numerous awards .
Australian Federation of Graduate Women Fellow 2014
Translational Cancer Research Network, PhD Top-up award 2013
UTS Student Winner at the UniQuest Trailblazer Competition 2012
UTS Best Pitch Winner at the UniQuest Trailblazer Competition 2012
Northern Translational Cancer Research Unit Scholar Award 2012
Best Junior Poster Award, Kolling Scientific Research Meeting (SRM) 2012. Dean’s Merit List for excellence in research 2012, UTS.
Dayna graduated with a Bachelor in Forensic Biology and Biomedical science from the University of Technology Sydney in 2016. During her studies, Dayna discovered a particular interest in molecular biology and an appreciation for the complexity of DNA and the mechanisms controlling its expression. Dayna has joined the team as an honours student in 2017 and is currently working on a project that explores the association between HPV16 and the expression of non-coding RNAs, such as miRNAs, in oral cancers.
Meredith graduated with a Bachelor of Forensic Biology in Biomedical Science from the University of Technology, Sydney in 2016. During her degree, Meredith developed an interest in the dysregulation of cellular processes which result in disease, with a particular interest in the mechanisms that control DNA. Meredith has joined the team as an honours student in 2017. Her project focuses on investigating the interactions between the miRNAs and their role in head and neck cancer.
Karl is an undergraduate software student working on the living data maps project. He is involved in developing a pipeline or GUI for the scientific community to import their data and transform multidimensional data points onto an interactive data organism. Specifically, he will focus on delivering a pipeline for creating D3 Data Driven Documents (https://d3js.org/ ).
Fiona Deutsch, Research Associate
Fiona graduated with a Bachelor in Forensic Science at Bond University in 2014 and in 2015, and moved to Sydney to pursue further study. In May, 2017, she graduated with a Masters in Forensic Biology at UTS and have since joined the Tran Lab as an Honorary Research Associate.
Her research is in the detection of saliva-based small RNA biomarkers in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.
William Mak. PhD Candidate
William graduated from the College of Traditional Chinese medicine, UTS with the bachelor degree of Health Science in Traditional Chinese medicine in 2016.
Currently, he is engaging in a PhD study with Dr Sean Walsh , on the topic of "The effect of Chinese herbal medicine compounds on non-coding RNAs expression and the immune response to cancer: a transcriptome analysis"
His interest and passion for the Chinese herbal treatments of cancer.