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)

Sasha Pollock

Sasha Pollock png

Honours student


I completed my Bachelor’s Degree majoring in Biochemistry with Molecular Biology and Zoology at Monash University (2013-2016). I’m currently undertaking Honours focussing on the kinase GCN2 and its role in signalling amino acid imbalance in Drosophila Melanogaster. Beyond my studies I enjoy travelling, spending my spare time on my family’s hobby farm and relaxing with friends.

Iris Bouwmeester


Honours student


I am a fourth year student (comparable to Honours) in Nutrition & Dietetics, holding two minor certificates in Neurophysiology. During my studies, I have focused mainly on medical nutrition. For my thesis I will dive deeper into the effects of Dietary Restriction – specifically restriction of protein based on DNA information – in Drosophila Melanogaster.
Outside of the lab I love to write and go to concerts, and I have made it my personal mission to try as many good food places in Melbourne as is humanly possible.
Education and Professional Experience
2016-Present Bachelor of Science (Nutrition & Dietetics), The Hague University of Applied Sciences, NL
2012-2016 Bachelor of Humanities (Linguistics), The University of Amsterdam, NL