About Us



The Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology works to enhance Australian and New Zealand research in Cell and Developmental Biology and encourage international collaborations through: 

  • Forum for discussion and dissemination of latest research trends and ideas;
  • Advocacy with governmental bodies;
  • Annual awarding of the prestigious President's Medal;
  • Annual awarding of the Emerging Leader Award;
  • Convening with two other societies of the annual COMBIO; support for the Hunter Meetings, sponsored state-based and national meetings;
  • Support for international Cell and Developmental Biology meetings in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Student travel scholarships for attendance at COMBIO and collaborative research;
  • Publication of Society Newsletters;
  • Discounted subscription rates for peak Cell and Developmental Biology journals;
  • Career advancement through advertising Laboratory positions available nationally and internationally;

The Committee, Executive and Chapter Representatives
Names with contact details for all Australian States and the ACT, and New Zealand North and South Island Provinces are listed here. We encourage all members to participate by contacting the Executive and/or your local Representative with your ideas and suggestions for the growth of our Society.

The Committee of the ANZSCDB provides oversight of the Society. More...

ComBio is the Annual meeting of the ANZSCDB. It is the major biological sciences meeting in Australasia and is held in conjunction with two other academic Societies in each of the Australian States and the ACT, and in New Zealand on a rotational basis. More...

ANZSCDB Grants and Applications
ANZSCDB offers grants in support of State and Local Cell & Developmental Biology Meetings, travel scholarships for attendance at ComBio and for student exchange programs. More...

Committees and Representatives

Select a committee from below for more information.

Executive Committee

Sharad Kumar, Centre for Cancer Biology, UniSA
08 8222 3738



President Elect
Jennifer Stow, Institute of Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland
07 3346 2034



Leonie Quinn, John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU



Michael Samuel, Head, Tumour Microenvironment Laboratory
Centre for Cancer Biology
SA Pathology and University of South Australia
02 9385 0019
Michael.Samuel@ unisa.edu.au

Past President
Sally Dunwoodie, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
02 9295 8513


State Representatives





Hongjun Shi
Victorchang Cardiac Research Inst. 
Sophie Pageon (NEW)
University of New South Wales
02 9385 2012





Erin Vaughn (NEW)
Australian National University




Samantha Stehbens (NEW)
07 3343 7326
Larisa Haupt 
Queensland University of Technology



Alex Combes
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Roger Pocock (NEW)
Monash Biomedicince Discovery Institute



Yoon Lim (NEW)
Centre for Cancer Biology
08 8222 3604
Sarah Boyle
Centre for Cancer Biology



Oliver Rackham
University of Western Australia
Yu Suk Choi (NEW) 
University of Western Australia
08 6488 7513



Caroline Beck
University of Otago
03 4794109




Our constitution stipulates that in addition to the Executive, there is a Committee that oversees the governance of the Society. The concept of the Committee has been dealt with in various ways over the years, but the Executive has decided to invite prominent members to form 'The Committee' to provide advice, direction and participate in decision-making. I would personally like to thank those noted below for agreeing to serve in these positions and provide oversight of the Society.

Edna HardemanEdna Hardeman
Past-President, ANZSCDB
Professor, School of Medical Sciences, The University of New South Wales




Miranda Grounds
University of Western Australia

Research focuses on factors controlling the repair of damaged skeletal muscle and on potential treatments for muscle diseases such as Duchenne's muscular dystrophy and muscle wasting. Pioneereing research has led to many studies into factors controlling skeletal muscle regeneration with a particular emphasis on myogenesis in post-natal skeletal muscle in vivo, with an ongoing interest in the role of the extracellular matrix.

Peter Currie
Professor, Deputy Director ARMI, Monash 

Research Interests: Zebrafish muscle development and evolution

A combination of genetic and embryological amenability has placed zebrafish at the forefront of attempts to understand how genes function to control vertebrate development.

The optical transparency of the zebrafish embryo provides the ability to visualise every cell in the forming embryo by simple optical inspection as well as enabling the use of a host of cell labeling and transgenic approaches to dissect embryonic development. Furthermore, the large-scale mutagenesis of the zebrafish genome has also produced many different classes of mutations that disrupt gene function. We use the many advantages of zebrafish embryology to dissect molecular mechanisms that act to pattern the vertebrate embryo. In particular, we are interested in how specific muscle cell types are determined within the developing embryo.

Joan Heath
A/Prof, Laboratory Head in Division of Development and Cancer, WEHI 

Research Interests: My laboratory's research is driven by the recognition that many of the dynamic processes occurring during development are also highly active or dysregulated in cancer. We use developing zebrafish to investigate processes including cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, angiogenesis and apoptosis. These cell behaviours can be easily followed and analysed in zebrafish embryos due to their external fertilisation, optical transparency and genetic tractability. Using a mutagenesis screen, we have discovered several genes that are critical for the growth and development of the rapidly proliferating zebrafish intestinal epithelium. We are now investigating whether the aberrant expression of these genes plays a role in the development of lung, liver, stomach and colon cancer. We hope these studies will enable us to propose new targets for cancer therapy.

Peter Koopman
University of Queensland

The group focuses on genes controlling the formation of various organs in the developing embryo. Our main interest is striving to understand the events that determine whether an embryo develops as a male or a female, using techniques such as microarray screening and transgenic mouse models. We are also interested in how germ cells come to develop as sperm in males or eggs in females.


A/Prof Natasha Harvey
Centre for Cancer Biology 

Associate Professor Natasha Harvey is an ARC Future Fellow and Head of the Lymphatic Development Laboratory at the Centre for Cancer Biology, UniSA and SA Pathology, Adelaide, Australia. Natasha’s work aims to understand how the lymphatic vasculature is constructed during development and how this process “goes wrong” in human lymphatic vessel pathologies. Her work in this arena has been published in leading international journals including Nature Genetics, Blood, Development and Journal of Clinical Investigation. Natasha has been a member of the ANZSCDB for 12 years, served as South Australian ANZSCDB representative from 2011-13 and was recipient of the ANZSCDB Emerging Leader Award in 2013.

Prof. David James 
Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney

I am a cell biologist and systems biologist who has had the privilege and good fortune of working with many gifted people who have given me good fortune and an enjoyable career so far.  I joined the Charles Perkins Centre at Sydney University several years ago because I saw this as an exciting opportunity to explore new terrain in the area of metabolic disease.  We are now just over 2 years in and we are getting there.  Our goal is to use interdisciplinary approaches to find unimagined insights into metabolism and how it interacts with the environment.  It relies on use of multiple different omics platforms to obtain large amounts of data that describe the underlying principles of biological systems.  This is an enormously exciting time.  

Carol Wicking
University of Queensland

Associate Professor Carol Wicking is currently the Manager Strategic Research Engagement at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, the University of Queensland. Prior to this position she worked for close to 30 years in research, with a focus on using cell and developmental biology to understand the genetic and mechanistic basis of inherited diseases including cystic fibrosis, naevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome and, most recently, a class of rare diseases known as ciliopathies.