Dr Mike Murray (Group Leader)

Mike did his PhD with Paul Whitington at the University of New England. After graduating in 1999 he undertook postdoctoral training with Andrea Brand at the University of Cambridge, UK, and then a second postdoctoral position in Rob Saint’s group at the ANU in Canberra. He then moved to University of Melbourne in 2010 where he established his research program on epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity, and is currently a senior lecturer and MSc(BioSciences) coordinator.


Fionna Zhu (PhD candidate)

Fionna graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2016 and Master of BioSciences in 2018. Her journey of research started in 2015 when I undertook volunteer work in the lab. In her Masters project, she performed genetic screening to identify novel regulators of MET using the adult Drosophila midgut as a model, specifically the Enteroblast cells (EBs). This project was carried through into her PhD, where she now focuses on studying how the distribution pattern of EBs contribute to damage-induced tissue repair, and more in-depth functional analysis on the role of Septate Junction protein in EB quiescence and MET. Her PhD is supported by the Melbourne Research Scholarship 2019-2022 and Dame Margaret Blackwood Soroptomist Scholarship in 2020.


Lachlan Wallace (MSc candidate)

Lachlan is investigating the role of the Netrin family of proteins in wound healing and epithelial closure. He is co-supervised by Mike Murray and Patricia Jusuf, using both Drosophila and Zebrafish to explore the conserved function of Netrins across animals.
Lachlan completed his BSc (Genetics) at the University of Melbourne, and returned to begin his Master’s project in 2020.


Melissa Lai (Honours candidate)

Melissa is investigating epithelial homeostasis in the adult Drosophila midgut. She is exploring the response of progenitor cells to cell death using an optogenetics approach, using light-activated caspases. Melissa completed her BBmed at the University of Melbourne in 2020.


Georgia Malloy (3rd year Science Research Project undergraduate)

Georgia is in her third year of a Bachelor of Science with majors in both Genetics and Immunity and infection. She is conducting a small “shelf” RNAi screen for genes that affect fly longevity when challenged with oral Dextran Sodium Sulfate, an established model for inducing gut regeneration. Genes that affect viability will be examined for their effect on enteroblast morphology, distribution and ability to differentiate into enterocytes.

Lab Alumni

Dr Vishal Chaturvedi, Postdoc, 2016-2020

Enoch Wong, Msc 2018-2019

Isabelle Lohrey, MSc 2018-2019

Dr Sonia Golenkina, PhD

Jacob Calabria, MSc

Jessica Stott, MSc

Grace Jefferies, MSc

Ben Minarelli, MSc

Caitlyn Perry, MSc

Caitlin Hennessey, MSc

Dr Melissa Pert, PhD

Dr Rose Manhire-Heath, PhD


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