Isabel completed her Bachelor’s of Science at the University of California, Davis where she studied Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, and Sexualities. As an undergraduate she worked in the lab of Prof. Bart Weimer to understand lipid changes during neuronal differentiation, and in the lab of Prof. Christina Davis to elucidate biomarkers of respiratory disease, namely pneumonia, in captive dolphin populations. After graduation, Isabel continued working in Prof. Weimer’s lab, refining novel techniques for the removal of pathogenic bacteria from a range of human and animal foodstuffs.

At the end of her contract, Isabel decided to give industry a try, and worked for an agrochemical company identifying viral and bacterial pathogens in crops and seed products, before working for the state of California as a molecular virologist tracking disease in livestock and poultry across both California and the greater United States. Throughout her tenure in Prof. Weimer’s lab, in industry, and working for the state, she volunteered as a research assistant with Dr. Ann Cooper and Prof. David Maggs at the University of California, Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine, studying the effect of antiviral treatments as prophylaxis and treatment of upper respiratory infections in shelter-housed cats.

Isabel has always been interested in infectious diseases, and her project at IMB under the direction of Prof. Ian Henderson focuses on identifying and understanding the genes that are necessary for pathogenic bacteria – namely E. coli – to survive and grow. In doing so, she hopes to learn more about the differences between pathogenic, non-pathogenic, and laboratory strains of bacteria, and potentially identify new targets for novel or modified antimicrobial treatments to combat the rising tide of global antibiotic resistance.

Outside the lab, Isabel serves as the Vice-Chair of the Queensland chapter of Democrats Abroad, Australia; sings in the Queensland University Musical Society; and enjoys reading and exploring Brisbane.