Pletzer lab 2023
Meet our Team
Postdoctoral Fellows and Staff
Sam joined the lab working on transcriptome analysis (RNA-Seq) of mono- and polymicrobial Pseudomonas aeruginosa–Staphylococcus aureus infections. He obtained his PhD in Biochemistry in Prof. Iain Lamont’s lab at the University of Otago. His thesis was on the evolution of antibiotic resistance in P. aeruginosa. His background ranges from molecular biology and biochemistry to bioinformatics and computational analysis.
Rajesh joined the lab working on a Marsden-funded research project investigating S. aureus and P. aeruginosa co-infections.
Nikita joined the lab as an Assistant Research Fellow (ARF) working on combinatorial therapies for Pseudomonas aeruginosa. She has a BSc(Hons) in Neuroscience and Genetics from the University of Otago and a research background across cellular and molecular biology. Her research interests include synergistic influencers of disease, and the use of genetic technologies to investigate cellular function & dysfunction. Outside the lab she rides racehorses and enjoys contributing to science outreach programs.
Nikita works part time with Prof. Iain Lamont on an HRC-China Biomedical Research Project.
Mark joined the lab investigating the mechanisms of action of peptidomimetics.
Deb is a PhD (Microbiology) student working on Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus biofilms and treating them with novel antimicrobials such as peptoids in vitro and in vivo. She is also interested in bacterial and fungal skin infections, specifically necrotising fasciitis. Outside the lab, Deb enjoys playing and coaching hockey, playing the violin, reading and drawing.
Quals: BSc hons Micro (1st class), BSc Micro (major) Japanese (minor)
Deb is co-supervised with A/Prof Lyn Wise.
Minati is a Prosthodontist with experience in rehabilitation of head and neck cancer patients. She is a PhD (Dentistry) student working on the antimicrobial, antibiofilm, and immunomodulatory activity of nanoparticles against oral microbes and their possible use in cancer care.
Minati is co-supervised with Dr. Don Schwass, A/Prof. Geoffrey Tompkins, A/Prof. Carla Meledandri, and Prof. Paul Brunton.
Catherine joined our lab as a PhD (Pharmacy) student, investigating prodrug strategies to promote site specific delivery of antibiotics. Outside of the lab, Catherine works as a pharmacist.
Quals: BPharm hons (1st class)
Kathy worked in the lab as a part-time Assistant Research Fellow (2020-2021) and recently started her journey as a PhD (Pharmacy) student. She has a broad research background ranging from molecular pharmacology to epigenetics. Her main research interests encompass the idea of how diseases and conditions that affect us in our younger years or as transient exposures can affect us later in life. In her spare time, she enjoys heading into the outdoors, and she is also a volunteer Girl-Guide Leader.
Quals: BSc (2016) and MSc (2019) Genetics
Alana joined the lab as a Master of Science (Microbiology) student in a collaborative project with Blis Technologies testing skin probiotics against ESKAPE pathogens. Outside of the lab, Alana is the Chief Financial Officer for Chiasma Dunedin, an organisation that creates links between academia and the wider science, technology and engineering (STEM) industries.
Quals: BSc hons Micro (1st class), BSc Micro (major) Politics (minor)
Alana is co-supervised with A/Prof Lyn Wise.
Maddie joined the lab as a summer student working on the characterization of histone-like proteins in P. aeruginosa. She continues with a project on lipid modification and potassium uptake as a 4th year Biomedical Sciences (Hons) student.
Quals: BSc Biomedical Sciences
Rory is a 4th year Medical Science Hons student working on liposomes to combat S. aureus and A. baumannii.
Quals: Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery
Meg joined the lab as a 4th year Biomedical Sciences Hons student working on various drug combinations to treat S. aureus infections.
Quals: Bachelor in Biomedical Sciences
Stella joined the lab as a Postgraduate Diploma Microbiology student searching for novel antimicrobials to treat multidrug resistant ESKAPE pathogens.
Quals: BSc Microbiology
Previous students in the lab
Postgraduate Honours Students
Previous visiting researchers in the lab
Dr Shilpa Saseendran Nair
Shilpa is the Director of ‘Real World Labs Limited‘ providing science consultancy services mainly on antibacterial efficacy testing.
Contact: ssn.shilpa11(at)gmail.com, info(at)realworldlabs.co.nz