About

Our people

The Molecular Horizons Management Committee (MHMC) oversees the research operations, budgeting and reporting of the Institute, and provides leadership and strategic direction in support of the Institute's objectives of delivering transformational molecular research.

Composition of committee

Director
Distinguished Professor Antoine van Oijen

Distinguished Professor Antoine van Oijen led research groups at Harvard Medical School and Groningen University (the Netherlands) before moving to the University of Wollongong in 2015 as an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow. Currently an NHMRC Investigator, he directs a vibrant research group developing and using single-molecule biophysical tools to study complex biological systems. As a Director of Molecular Horizons, Prof van Oijen aims to create a research ecosystem that brings together scientists from biology, chemistry, physics, and medicine to use molecular visualisation approaches as a key driver for medical discovery.

Deputy Director - Partnerships
Associate Professor Danielle Skropeta

Associate Professor Danielle Skropeta leads a medicinal chemistry research group developing new treatments for difficult to treat cancers and developing marine-inspired biomedical solutions for critical health care needs in wound care & bacterial infection. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), Chair-elect of the RACI Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology Division and received the Margaret Sheil Leadership Award in 2020 for championing gender equity in chemistry. In 2021, A/Prof Skropeta was appointed as a national STEM Ambassador by Science Technology Australia and was selected for the Homeward Bound global leadership program for women in STEM. As Deputy Director for Partnerships, A/Prof Skropeta aims to build new connections between Molecular Horizon researchers and national and global partners from academia and industry to further expand the scope and impact of Molecular Horizons’ ground-breaking molecular discoveries and drug and technology development programs.

Deputy Director - Research and Infrastructure
Professor Heath Ecroyd

Professor Heath Ecroyd (PhD, Newcastle University, 2003) was an NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellow (2005-2009, University of Adelaide) and ARC Future Fellow (2012-2016; University of Wollongong). He heads a group at the University of Wollongong that investigates the biochemistry and cellular biology of protein homeostasis (proteostasis). His main research focus is the role molecular chaperones play in preventing the aggregation of proteins, a process associated with many human diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Motor Neurone Disease (MND). By identifying innovative approaches to activate these molecular chaperones, Prof Ecroyd’s group aims to develop new drugs to treat, and ultimately prevent these diseases.

Executive Member - Community Engagement
Doctor Katrina Green 

Dr Katrina Green (Weston-Green, PhD) is a Senior Lecturer (School of Medicine) who leads a vibrant lab group in the field of neuropharmacology. Her team aims to investigate molecular mechanisms underpinning neuropsychiatric illnesses and identify new treatments. Dr Green’s main interests are the use of natural bioactive compounds to improve cognitive impairment as a core symptom domain spanning a number of brain illnesses (eg schizophrenia, depression, mild cognitive impairment/dementia and substance use disorder). Dr Green’s role on the Executive Committee is to facilitate Community Engagement. Molecular Horizons aims to solve questions around diseases effecting our community. We recognise that our community holds the keys to help us find answers and believe in the importance of a united effort towards shining a light on disease and treatments.

The role of the Research Infrastructure Steering Committee (RISC) is to develop and implement strategies for the maintenance and growth of research infrastructure at Molecular Horizons. The RISC oversees the newly established facilities in Molecular Horizons, as well as represent the facilities already in existence that predate the establishment of the Institute and already operate under their existing governance structures.  

Current membership:

Chair

Professor Heath Ecroyd

Member

Dr Lezanne Ooi (Molecular Neurosciences)

Member

Associate Professor Christopher Hyland (Medicinal Chemistry and Synthesis, NMR Spectroscopy Facility)

Member

Dr James Bouwer (Cryo-EM General Manager)

Member

Jason Andrade (Representative High Performance Computing/IT Committee)

Member

Associate Professor Martina Sanderson-Smith (Representative Antimicrobial Resistance)

Member

Dr Kara Perrow (Cancer therapeutics)

Member

Dr Chris Brownlee ( Manager, Optical Microscopy and Flow Cytometry Facility)

Member

Professor Paul Keller (Associate Head of School, Research)

Member

Dr Celine Kelso (Manager, Mass Spectrometry Facility)

Member

Associate Professor Kelly Newell (Molecular Neuroscience)

Member

Professor Aaron Oakley (Structural biology and molecular characterization)

The role of the Molecular Horizons Seminar Committee is to support a high-quality seminar program that provides a platform for our PhD students to share their research outcomes and also host an array of external cross-disciplinary researchers, with the goal of promoting collaborative research opportunities.

PositionMember
Chair Dr Jodi Brewster
Member Dr Megan Kelly
Member Dr Harshad Ghodke
Member Dr Nicholas Geraghty
Member Kelsey Whinn
Member Dr Luke McAlary
Member Dzung Do-Ha
Member Dr Andrew Tague
Member Kayla Morlando