Lab Members

Matt Piper


Dietary restriction (DR or calorie restriction) is an evolutionarily conserved intervention that extends healthy lifespan. I am interested in the nutrients and molecular mechanisms required to elicit this effect – in particular the role of protein. Knowledge of these interactions will aid our understanding of the role of nutrient balance in adult health, appetite and longevity.


Twitter: @mattpiperlab


Education and Professional Experience
2016 – present ARC Future Fellow, Monash University
2010 – 2016 Royal Society University Senior Research Fellow, UCL
2002 – 2010 Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UCL
2001 – 2002 Tenure-track researcher, Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands
1997 – 2001 PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, UNSW, Australia
1996 Honours [First Class] Molecular Genetics, UNSW, Australia
1993 – 1995 Bachelor of Science, University of Adelaide, Australia
2015 Australian Research Council Future Fellowship
2012 Wellcome Trust Wellcome Trust People Awards
2012 UCL Crucible Centre Art/science collaboration
2012 AGE UK Art/science collaboration
2012 – 2015 Royal Society URF research grant
2011 – 2016 Royal Society University Research Fellowship
2011 – 2014 BBSRC New Investigator Award
2011 – 2015 UCL Crucible Centre (Medical Research Council) 4y PhD studentship

Amy Dedman


Research Assistant


I hold an honours degree in biotechnology and I’ve worked as a molecular biologist for over ten years, in both academic and private industry research laboratories. I’ve always been fascinated by stem cells and I’m interested in understanding how nutrition can influence stem cell regulation, specifically the regulatory mechanisms between drosophila neuroblast proliferation and amino acids.
Outside the lab I enjoy digital art/graphic design, writing science fiction and other things too nerdy to mention.
Education and Professional Experience
2016 – current Research Assistant – Monash University, Australia
2015 – 2016 Research and Development Scientist – MiniFab, Australia
2012 – 2014 Project Manager – The University of Queensland, Australia
2010 – 2012 Laboratory Manager – StemLife, Australia
2007 – 2009 Research Assistant – Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Australia
2004 – 2006 Research Assistant – Queensland Brain Institute, Australia
2002 – 2004 Research Technician – University of Ulm, Germany
2001 Honours, The University of Newcastle, Australia
1998 – 2000 Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology), The University of Newcastle, Australia

Carolyn Ma

Carolyn Ma

PhD student


I studied zoology and animal behaviour for my Bachelors and Masters in Research degree, respectively. I have previously studied the gustatory system of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) and how they regulate their intake of nutrients. For my PhD, I am investigating the molecular mechanism that modulate lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster, particularly through the nutrient-sensing pathways, TOR and GCN2 kinase. Outside of PhD life, I like to travel around and explore new places. I also enjoy seeing live music and having a good jive.

Education and Professional Experience
2016-Present PhD in Molecular Biology, Monash University, Australia
2015-2016 Research Technician, Newcastle University, UK
2014-2015 Masters of Research (Animal Behaviour), Newcastle University, UK
2010-2014 Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Zoology with Industrial Placement), The University of Manchester, UK


2016-Present Monash Graduate Studentship (MGS)

Monash International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (MIPRS)

Javier Gomez


PhD student


I completed my undergrad studies in Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (including one year abroad in the University of York). Afterwards I did my MRes in The University of Liverpool. I did my undergrad research project on vascular mouse models of accelerated ageing. Keeping in the line of ageing research my MRes project was based on the study of Protein and Gene Co-expression networks of Cellular Senescence. For my PhD, I would like to deepen into network analysis and other system biology analysis of ageing and it’s relationship with diet and fitness in Drosophila melanogaster. I am brand new in Melbourne so in my free time I would love to travel around and go hiking to explore the nature in Australia.

Helen Rushby


Honours student


I completed my Bachelor of Science majoring in Ecology and Conservation biology and minoring in zoology at Monash University (2015-2017). For my honours research, I’m investigating the influence of olfaction on macronutrient intake in Drosophila melanogaster larvae. It’s my ambition to become an exotic vet and in my spare time I enjoy looking after my guinea pigs.
Education and Professional Experience

2012-2015     Bachelor of Arts (Psychology). Monash University.

2015-2017      Bachelor of Science (Ecology and Conservation Biology). Monash University.

Andrea Chan


Honours student


I undertook my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science in Monash University, and am currently completing my honours year. This year, I will be manipulating Drosophila diets in hopes of seeing an effect in their resistance to stress, specifically toxins. In my spare time, I enjoy writing fiction novels and playing a number of musical instruments.

Rob di Paolo


Honours student

Josh Johnstone


Undergraduate project students

I’m currently undertaking a Bachelor of Science at Monash University, with a major in genetics. I have a particular interest in the mechanisms of ageing and their regulators, one such regulator being nutrition. In the lab, I’m investigating how manipulating individual amino acids affects lifelong health in Drosophila melanogaster. Outside the lab I enjoy surfing and exploring the hiking trails surrounding Melbourne.

Lab Alumni

Sasha Pollock – Honours student

Iris Bouwmeester – Honours student