Join us to discover how our researchers are gathering knowledge and taking action to defend us against cancer, cardiovascular disease and neural tube defects.


Dr Stehbens will discuss how we can make cancer cells rupture when they try to move in tissues and why we need to re-define therapeutic responses to anti-cancer agents.  Dr Melanie White will share how the work of her lab may ultimately assist in the development of methods for the prediction and treatment of some of the most common and severe birth defects. Associate Professor Nathan Palpant will present his work studying the mysteries of the human genome and using this knowledge to find new drug targets for treating heart disease, the world’s leading cause of death.

You can attend this event in person at IMB, including a complimentary afternoon tea and lab tour, or you can join us online via zoom.

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Meet the Researchers:

Dr Samantha Stehbens

Dr Stehbens is a cell biologist with an interest in understanding how cells move and survive by interacting with their physical surroundings. They apply these findings to understand how cancer spreads. Cancer cells spread aggressively throughout the body by adapting their cell shape to fit their surroundings, so they can squeeze through tight tissue spaces. Using melanoma as a model, they use patient-derived cancer cells, coupled to genetic alteration and microfluidic devices, with use state-of-the-art live-cell imaging techniques and biosensors. We aim to identify novel druggable pathways for patients with melanoma to prevent metastatic spread of disease.

Dr Melanie White

Dr Melanie White heads the Dynamics of Morphogenesis Lab, which is focused on understanding the dynamic mechanisms controlling tissue formation and cell fate determination. Dr White’s lab is interested in how molecular events are translated into, and integrated with, cellular properties and mechanical forces to orchestrate tissue development. In particular, they focus on how these processes interact to direct the formation of the neural tube – the embryonic precursor to the brain and spinal cord. They apply quantitative live imaging technologies to developing avian embryos and human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) models to understand how the neural tube forms in real time. The knowledge Dr White’s team is generating may ultimately assist in the development of methods for the prediction and treatment of some of the most common and severe birth defects.

Dr Nathan Palpant

Dr Nathan Palpant is Associate Professor at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB). After completing training at University of Michigan and University of Washington in the fields of cardiac physiology, stem cell biology, and genomics, he established his independent research group at the IMB in 2015. His research program draws on an interdisciplinary team merging bioinformatics, stem cell biology, genomics, and physiology to study mechanisms of cardiovascular development and disease. The integration of these fields has resulted in high impact studies in journals such as Cell Stem Cell, Nature Protocols, Circulation, Nucleic Acids Research, and Cell Systems revealing fundamental knowledge into mechanisms of cardiovascular biology. The discoveries have advanced into translational applications in clinical drug testing and commercial genomic discovery pipelines with international companies. A/Prof Palpant has received numerous awards including the International Society for Heart Research Young Investigator Award and the Lorne Genome Millennium Science Award. He is co-chair of the Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network and on the steering committee for the Australian Functional Genomics Network. Dr Palpant is also co-founder of Infensa Bioscience, aiming to develop new therapeutics for cardiac and cerebrovascular ischemic injuries.


About Meet the Researchers

Our Institute was built to inspire scientists, to cultivate interaction across a wide range of scientific disciplines, to generate adventurous innovative ideas, to foster revolutionary discoveries, and to translate our knowledge of nature to discover cures for a better world. Our researchers are the life force that makes this possible and drive incredible discoveries to save lives today and into the future.

Meet the Researchers series is your chance to connect in person and hear firsthand how they are advancing understanding in the life sciences, and learn what fuels their passion to close in gamechanger discoveries. 


Past webinar recordings

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