Desma is a Associate in our Melbourne Biotechnology team.
Prior to joining FB Rice, Desma worked as an OCE Postdoctoral Fellow with the CSIRO Preventative Health Flagship where she has worked on a project titled the genetic link between obesity and colorectal cancer. Desma has an extensive research background covering areas such as plant biotechnology, molecular and cell biology, genomics and metabolic health and joins FB Rice with a keen understanding of the research and scientific environment.
Desma has completed a Bachelor of Science Biotechnology (honours) and has a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology. Desma’s honours research was titled ‘Isolation and characterization of an Arabidopsis thaliana TFB1 homologue’ and investigated plant DNA repair mechanisms. Desma undertook further research in this area studying plant pathogen interactions in response to UV light.
During her time at Deakin University, Desma won several student awards, including the Deakin University Summer Scholarship and the Invitrogen Merit Award for outstanding performance in Bachelor of Science Biotechnology unit, Protein Engineering.
Desma’s PhD focused on breast cancer, and her studies investigated calcium transporters as novel therapeutic targets in molecular subtypes of breast cancer. Desma received the School of Pharmacy William Harris Prize in Therapeutic Targeting for her manuscript in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and her thesis titled ‘Secretory pathway calcium ATPases in breast cancer’ received the Graduate School Dean’s award for Research Higher Degree Excellence.
Desma has had considerable success with competitive peer reviewed scientific grants, giving her an excellent understanding of the challenges facing the research community in securing funds for continued research. She is also regularly invited to speak about intellectual property at universities across Australia.
Desma is a registered Australian Patent Attorney.