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Dr Amelia Johnston Research Fellow, Biochemistry

Amelia completed her Bachelor of Biological Sciences at La Trobe University followed by Honours in the Department of Biochemistry in 1999. She stayed in the Department for her PhD working on the small TOM proteins of the human mitochondrial protein import machinery, under the supervision of Professors Mike Ryan and Nick Hoogenraad.

In 2004 Amelia joined the Co-operative Research Centre for Diagnostics (also in the Department of Biochemistry at La Trobe University) as a Junior Postdoc, where she worked as part of a large team searching for unique T-cell surface markers with particular disease association and the generation of monoclonal antibodies to these markers. This CRC for Diagnostics was the building block for the more recent CRC for Biomarker Translation.

As part of the CRC for Biomarker Translation and as a Postdoc in Prof. Nick Hoogenraads lab, Amelia has worked closely with Nick and Associate Prof. John Silke since 2007 establishing and co-leading a project for research into Cancer Cachexia. This has led to the discovery of a receptor, which is known to be overexpressed in many cancers, as being responsible for a complex set of events that ultimately leads to severe muscle wasting and a general loss of body mass and function, known as cachexia. The generation of effective antibody based therapies against this devastating disease has been a large focus of the project.

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