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Meet the Innovation Centre Team

Dr. Johanna Barclay

Senior Manager, Innovation Centre

Dr Johanna Barclay is the Senior Manager of the Innovation Centre at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. She has a background in biomedical research, research strategy and partnerships, and business strategy.

Dr Barclay completed a PhD in 2007 from the University of Queensland and undertook postdoctoral positions at the Institute of Molecular Biosciences (Queensland), the Max Plank Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Germany), and the Translational Research Institute (Queensland). She has 51 peer-reviewed publications which have been cited more than 1600 times. Dr Barclay transitioned to research strategy in 2016, managing the Strategic Development team at Mater Research (Queensland) to facilitate all aspects of research funding and metrics, and develop complex strategic partnerships between research and health sectors. In 2018 Dr Barclay joined the University of New South Wales as Senior Research Development Manager in the Research Strategy Office, leading a team to develop competitive funding strategies in all disciplines across the University. She served as board member for the Australasian Research Management Society (ARMS) in 2018, and again in 2019 as Deputy Director. Dr Barclay was awarded her MBA from the University of Queensland in 2020.

Dr Barclay joined the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in December 2019 as Senior Manager of the Innovation Centre, and is responsible for the management, development, growth and promotion of the Facilities, as well as other strategic projects within the Institute.

Dr. Ismael Aguirre-Maclennan

Research Assistant, Stem Cell Production Facility

Dr. Ismael Aguirre-Maclennan is a passionate stem cell biologist, with extensive experience in mammalian cells, pluripotent stem cell generation, maintenance, and banking.

Ismael moved from Peru to Australia in 2007 to continue his postgraduate studies at Monash and La Trobe University, where he completed his PhD in genetics. His PhD research focused on the derivation of marsupial induced pluripotent stem cells.

After graduating, Dr. Aguirre-Maclennan relocated to Thailand to work with human iPSCs. He was later recruited by the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Innovation Centre where he now manages the Stem Cell Production Facility. He has a special interest in the application of gene-editing technologies for generating clinically relevant isogenic iPSCs and differentiated phenotypes for functional cell screening.

Esther Kristianto

Research Scientist, Metabolomics Facility

Esther Kristianto has lengthy experience working with mass spectrometry (MS) instrumentation. She completed her BSc in Applied Chemistry at the University of Technology Sydney in 2007, training in multiresidue analysis.

In 2011, Kristianto joined the South Australian node of Metabolomics Australia, housed within the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI). She was responsible for performing targeted analysis of metabolites in grapes and wines, as well as facilitating new method development in other biological matrices using GC-MS, LC-MS/MS and LC-qTOF.

Kristianto later returned to Sydney and joined the newly established Metabolomics Facility in the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Innovation Centre. She operates the LC-MS/MS instruments for targeted metabolomics analysis and work closely and collaboratively with researchers and students to develop new workflows and methods for their projects.

Dr. Vanessa Lanoue

Head, Micro Imaging Facility

Dr. Vanessa Lanoue is the Head of the Micro Imaging Facility at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Innovation Centre. Dr. Lanoue is an experienced microscopist, with expertise in fluorescent microscopy, X-ray micro-tomography, 3D and live microscopy and in silico prost processing and analysis.

Dr. Lanoue completed her PhD in Neuroscience in 2012, at the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, France. She relocated to Brisbane, Australia, in 2014 where she undertook a postdoctoral position in neuronal development. There, she developed her skills in many forms of microscopy, and live fluorescent confocal imaging.

Dr. Lanoue moved to Sydney in 2019 to establish and lead the Micro Imaging Facility at the Innovation Centre. She collaborates with scientists and provides research support and training in specimen preparation, image acquisition, and post-processing and analysis of microscopy data obtained with the state-of-the-art instruments.

Dr. Jeffrey McArthur

Head, Cell Function & Screening Facility

Dr. Jeffrey McArthur is the Head of the Cell Function & Screening Facility within the Innovation Centre at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. Dr. McArthur is an experienced electrophysiologist, with expertise in ion channels underlying cellular excitability and various electrophysiological techniques to study them.

He completed his PhD in 2011 from the University of Calgary, Canada, where he trained in electrophysiological methods to study ion channels. Research fellow positions at RMIT University (2011-13) and Harvard University (2013-16) provided him with experience in Cav channels involved in sensory perception.

In 2019, while still developing his independent research on calcium channels, he joined the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, as Head of the Cell Function & Screening Facility. Dr. McArthur brings valuable experience in ion channel physiology and pathophysiology as well as various electrophysiological methods, evidenced by his 24 publications in well-respected physiology/pharmacology journals.

Dr. Nana Sunn

Head, Preclinical Imaging Facility

Dr. Nana Sunn is the Head of the Preclinical Imaging Facility within the Innovation Centre at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. Dr Nana Sunn is an experienced preclinical imaging scientist and manager of imaging core facilities providing multimodality imaging research support and training to researchers across the disciplines.

Prior to joining the Victor Chang Cardia Research Institute, Dr Sunn setup and established preclinical imaging facilities at the University of Sydney (Sydney Imaging Core Research Facility, 2014-2021), Translational Research Institute (UQ, 2011-2014), and Queensland Brain Institute (UQ, 2006-2011).

She undertook her Postdoc Fellowships in neuroscience at The Douglas Research Centre, McGill University (2002-2003) and cardiovascular physiology, stem cells therapy & developmental biology in women & infant health at The Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto (2003-2006).  With the extensive University Health Network (UHN) as her training ground in Toronto that included The Centre of Phenogenomics (a state-of-the-art national research facility for animal models of human diseases), Mouse Imaging Centre of Excellence (state-of-the-art medical imaging technologies for characterisation of mouse functional genomics), MaRS Discovery District and operating multimodal preclinical imaging facilities, 

Dr Sunn has worked closely with researchers, clinicians and clinician scientists including industry partners in preclinical imaging studies.  The range of preclinical imaging technology that Dr Sunn has managed included: 7T MRI, 3T PET/MR, PET/CT, micro-ultrasound with photoacoustic imaging, 3D in vivo microCT, optical bioluminescence/fluorescence imaging, 2D Xray with Dual Energy Absorptiometry camera and body composition analyser in awake animal.

Dr. Xiaosuo Wang

Metabolomics Research Scientist

Dr. Wang is a Metabolomics Research Scientist within the Innovation Centre at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. Her expertise is focused on the emerging and multi-disciplinary “Omics” projects, developing workflows encompassing proteomics, metabolomics and lipidomics.

Dr. Wang obtained her PhD in Medicine at the University of Sydney in 2009, investigating the protective role of apolipoproteins in HDL against cardiovascular diseases by utilising various analytical techniques including extensive MS methods.

She continued her MS journey during her postdoctoral work, studying post-translational modifications of myoglobin after acute myocardial infarct using MALDI-TOF and MALDI imaging MS. From 2013 to 2020, Dr. Wang was the Core Facility Manager of the Mass Spectrometry Facility within the Bosch Institute at the University of Sydney.