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Staff Portfolio

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  • Desi Veleva, PhD
    Desi Veleva, PhDLab Manager/Senior Research Assistant

    Dr Veleva completed her PhD at the National Centre for Adult Stem Cell Research at Griffith University in 2010. Her research background is on neurogenesis of the nervous system focusing primarily on working with adult stem cells derived from the olfactory system and the brain. She joined the Cancer and Ageing Research Program (CARP) at the Translational Research Institute and worked as a postdoctoral fellow on projects focusing in genomic instability and ageing, as well as chemotherapy resistance in lung cancer. Before joining the StemCARE team at the UQ AIBN, Desi worked as a clinical scientist in the Cancer Collaborative BioBank at Princess Alexandra Hospital where she gained invaluable knowledge and skills in Haematology and Blood Cancers. She joined StemCore team at the end of 2019, and applies her excellent organisational and experimental skills to running of our molecular biology pipeline.

  • Karen Hughes, BSc ChE
    Karen Hughes, BSc ChECentre Manager

    Karen has 12+ years international experience in the research, development and cGMP manufacture of mammalian biologics with over 6 years dedicated to client-facing and service roles within highly regulated and quality-controlled environments. Completing her Chemical Engineering degree from Cornell University, she moved into vaccine manufacture for human clinical trials at Merck & Co., Inc. (United States), working in process development, cGMP production and building regulatory documentation packages. She worked closely with clients to enable technology transfer of their biologics processes for late-stage cGMP clinical manufacturing at Thermo Fisher Scientific at their St Louis (United States) site. Within Australia, Karen has previously worked at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), University of Queensland, as a founding member of the National Biologics Facility (NBF) and was focussed on setting up capabilities and developing downstream purification processes to provide pre-clinical biopharmaceuticals for Australian researchers and biotech companies. She recently joined StemCore in 2020 to support the facility with building quality systems and an increased focus on operational excellence.