Eva’s PhD Thesis Submission

Congratulations Eva for submitting her PhD thesis for examination today. Eva joined us in November 2017. Her PhD focused on the application of biophysical and biochemical techniques to study protein-ligand interactions and enzyme inhibition. Eva worked on a diverse range of projects during her PhD. Of particular highlights are (1) experimentally validating the use of … Read more

Dr Nabangshu Sharma

Big congratulations to Nabangshu for successfully passing his PhD oral examination today. Nabangshu performed very well during the oral. He gave a very clear presentation about his findings, actively engaged in discussions with his examiner, and showed excellent knowledge about his work. Getting a PhD is a well deserved achievement for Nabangshu, who led multiple … Read more

Winter 2021 Graduation – Drs Mbenza and Patel

Congratulations Dr Naasson Mbenza and Dr Jinal Patel for officially graduating with your PhD today at the 2021 Winter Graduation Ceremony. Sorry I couldn’t join your ceremony due to the Victoria lockdown but I am very proud of your achievements. Well done!

Dr Ryan Dixon

Congratulations Dr Ryan Dixon for successfully passing his PhD oral examination today! Ryan accomplished an amazing multidisciplinary PhD (with A/Prof. Sperry, Prof. Curtis and Ivan) that involved organic chemistry, chemical biology and cell biology to identify compounds and cellular targets that relates to neuroplasticity. He is now postdoc with Maurice at the FMHS! Well done … Read more

The Leung Group is moving to the University of Melbourne

Ivan relocated to the School of Chemistry and the Bio21 Institute at the University of Melbourne today. At the moment, the core of the Leung Group (Nabangshu, Mike, Brooke, Vicky, Eva, Praveen and Ryan) is still based at the University of Auckland. Thank you for your understanding and I will make sure there will be … Read more

Naasson’s Hard Bound PhD Thesis Submission

Congratulations Dr Naasson Mbenza for submitting his hard bound PhD theses to the University library today! Naasson is now working as a postdoc with Dr Davide Comoletti at the Victoria University of Wellington on a COVID-19 vaccine project. Well done Naasson! We really appreciate your hard work & enthusiasm in science. All the best for … Read more

Nabangshu’s PhD Thesis Submission

Congratulations Nnabangshu for submitting his PhD thesis today. Nabangshu joined us in July 2017. He did an excellent PhD during his time in our group, working on a diverse range of projects. Of particular highlights are (1) developing a new MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry assay to study PC-PLC, (2) studied protein-protein interactions for a number of … Read more

Group Barbecue January 2021

The Group went to our annual barbecue today. This year we went to Okoromai Bay at Shakespear Regional Park. I hope everyone day a good time (apart from getting lost in the park). Let’s get ready for a productive year ahead! PS: Thanks everyone for the card and the presents.

Spring Graduation – Praveen and Mark

Dr Praveen George Vadakkedath (PhD) and Mark-Anthony McLarin (BScH) attended the University Spring 2020 Graduation Ceremony yesterday. It is a well deserving celebrations of their achievements especially after such a turbulent year 🙂 Congratulations to both Praveen and Mark!

Ryan’s PhD Thesis Submission

Congratulations to Ryan, who submitted his PhD Thesis last Thursday. Ryan did an amazing PhD project across three disciplines (organic synthesis, chemical biology and cell biology) and 3 groups (Main Supervisor: Associate Professor Sperry, Co-Supervisor: Professor Maurice Curtis at FMHS and Ivan) to search for bioactive compounds that modulate neuroplasticity, and to identify the cellular … Read more

Science Scholar Presentation – Steve Hansel

Steve Hansel, a SCISCHOL 302B student, worked with Nabangshu this semester to produce laccases to degrade textile dyes. Steve presented the results from his work at today’s Science Scholar Programme poster symposium. Well done Steve. It wasn’t easy as Steve has lost a few week’s of research time due to the Auckland lockdown earlier. However, … Read more

Dr Naasson Mbenza – Congratulations

Congratulations to Dr Naasson Mbenza who successfully defended his PhD thesis “Studies on the Modulation of the Enzymatic Activity of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor Hydroxylases” this afternoon. Naasson did very well in his oral examination. He gave a good presentation summarising his PhD work and highlighting important results. He also answered the examiners’ questions with confidence. The … Read more

Dr Dona Gunawardana – Congratulations

Congratulations to Dr Dona Gunawardana for successfully defended her thesis in her PhD oral examination this morning. Dona’s final preparation was interrupted by last night’s announcement that Auckland will be moving back to Alert Level 3 by midday today, and her oral examination was changed from a “hybrid face-to-face + Zoom” format to the “online … Read more

Weijing’s PGDipSci submission

Congratulations to Weijing, who submitted her PGDipSci dissertation for examination this afternoon. Weijing tested the efficacy of a series of compounds against antibiotic-resistant bacteria during her PGDipSci. Her project was severely impacted by the coronavirus situation (including self-isolation and lockdown) so she did a good job gathering enough data and putting the thesis together. Well … Read more

Dr Jinal Patel – Congratulations

Congratulations to Dr Jinal Patel for successfully defended her thesis in her PhD oral examination this morning. Jinal performed well in her oral examination. The examiners were impressed by the numbers of compounds that she has tested, as well as the thorough analyses that she has conducted during her PhD. They were also happy with … Read more

L H Briggs Prize – Dr Danilo Correddu

Congratulations to Dr Danilo Correddu for being awarded the 2019 L. H. Briggs Memorial Prize. The prize was awarded annually for the most distinguished researcher who has submitted a PhD thesis in Chemistry, Food Science or Forensic Science in the year of the award. The selection panel commented that “Danilo took on something very tough, … Read more

Naasson’s PhD Thesis Submission

Congratulations to Naasson who has submitted his PhD thesis for examination today. Naasson’s PhD project was focused on the use of different chemical approaches to modulate the activity of HIF prolyl hydroxylase. Naasson is a very independent young scientist, and he has made some very interesting discoveries during his PhD. He has also started some … Read more

Dr Praveen George Vadakkedath – Congratulations

Congratulations to Dr Praveen George Vadakkedath for successfully defended his PhD Thesis today. Praveen was supervised by Associate Professor Duncan McGillivray, and co-supervised by Ivan & Professor Penny Brothers. Praveen worked on two main projects during his PhD – He studied the conformational change of an oxygen sensing enzyme called PHD2 using SAXS, and he … Read more

Jinal’s PhD Thesis Submission

Congratulations to Jinal who has submitted her PhD thesis for examination today. Jinal joined us 3.5 years ago and her PhD work has focussed on the studies of a DNA-repair enzyme called TDP1. Jinal’s project is central to a very successful collaboration with Professor Konstantin Volcho (N.N. Vorozhtsov Novosibirsk Institute of Organic Chemistry of the … Read more