Barr Lab

Current Lab Members


Picture of Ciaren Kett

Research Description

I completed my Master of Biotechnology through the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) and Monash University. Previously, I studied a Bachelor of Science in Genetics & Molecular Biology. At the Barr Lab, I will be developing a molecular method for the quantification of T4 phage particles using RT-PCR.

Outside the lab, I like to indulge in a nice meal or beverage, watch excessive amounts of TV, read, and exercise.

Picture of Ruzeen Patwa

Research Description

I have a master’s degree in biology from New York University, and have worked in several cancer biology labs identifying genes that mediate cancer progression. In Barr lab, I provide technical support to the lab members, as well as daily management of the lab.

Apart from lab work, I enjoy watching movies, spending time with my family, and catching up with friends over a cup of coffee.


Research Description

I am a medical microbiologist with a Master’s degree from the Tribhuvan University, Nepal. After which, I worked as a lecturer in Nepalese Universities for five years. I completed my doctoral study at the University of New South Wales, Sydney in 2019 which focused on mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance in ocular isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In the Barr Lab, I work on therapeutic uses of bacteriophages for multi-drug resistant bacteria, with a current focus on Enterobacter infections.

Outside of the lab, I enjoy landscape photography.  

Research Description

I am an associate professor from China. I have my doctorate degree in veterinary of medicine from Nanjing Agricultural University in China. In the Barr lab, I will investigate the tripartite interaction between pathogenic E. coli, bacteriophage and gut mucus layer. I first investigate this in cell line cultures before proceeding to the gut-on-chip and finally, in animal models.

Outside of the lab, I enjoy travelling and experiencing the gorgeous views in Australia.

Graduate Students

Picture of Marion Bichet
Graduate Student
marion.bichet@monash.eduView CV

Research Description

I am a French PhD student with a master degree in microbiology from Pasteur Institute and Sorbonne University in Paris. Previously, I worked on the interaction between host and pathogens. In the Barr Lab, I am investigating the interactions between bacteriophages and eukaryotic cells. Using cutting-edge technology, like confocal microscopy and ddPCR, I will attempt to understand how bacteriophages influence epithelial cells and delineate the mechanisms by which these cells transcytose phage particles.

Outside of the lab I like to go hiking and enjoy the incredible Australian landscapes, I also like to spend times with my friends around a fresh drink.


Follow me on Twitter @marion_bichet 

Picture of Wai Hoe Chin
Graduate Student
wai.chin@monash.eduView CV

Research Description

I am a Malaysian PhD student. Previously, I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences (Infectious Diseases) from The University of Edinburgh in Scotland, United Kingdom.

In the Barr lab, my aim is to further develop the bacteriophage-adherence-to-mucus (BAM) model. Specifically, I want to understand the eco-evolutionary dynamics of phages within a life-like gut mucus environment. To that end, I perform my phage evolution and ecological experiments using a gut-on-a-chip microfluidic device. 

Beyond the lab, I like to spend my time learning languages, exercising and eating (a lot).

Follow me on Twitter @chinhoe589

Picture of Sofia Dahlman
Graduate Student
sofia.dahlman@monash.eduView CV

Research Description

I am a Swedish PhD student with a master’s degree in Biomedical Science from Leiden University, The Netherlands.

In the Barr Lab, my work will be directed at decoding the human gut phageome and its impact on health and disease. To this end I will identify and characterise prophages from a large number of clinical isolates. My project will use extensive bioinformatic and high throughput sequencing techniques as well as microbiology approaches.

Outside the lab, I enjoy traveling and experiencing new places, hiking, gardening, listening to audio books and eating delicious foods.

Picture of Laura Avellaneda Franco
Graduate Student
laura.avellanedafranco@monash.eduView CV

Research Description

I am a Colombian Ph.D. student. Previously, I worked on characterizing the healthy human gut virome at Alejandro Reyes Lab in Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia. In the Barr Lab, I am deciphering the potential capacity of phages to modulate the gut bacterial population. To accomplish this, I am using bioinformatics and molecular techniques.

Outside the lab, I enjoy meeting people, reading novels, and traveling.

Picture of Robert Garcia
Graduate Student

Research Description

I am a Joint PhD student from the Monash-Warwick Alliance working on the interface between
synthetic biology and bacteriophages.

I got started with bioprocess engineering, bioelectrochemistry and metabolic pathways but soon
I switched to the molecular world of phages! In the Barr Lab, I want to learn about phage

About me, I am all about science and technology. But outside the lab I like to travel, to learn
about languages and the cultural heritage of the world. My hobbies are martial arts, non-fiction,
guitar and nature itself.

Follow me on Twitter @raga_rob

Picture of Fernando Gordillo Altamirano
Graduate Student
fernando.gordilloaltamirano@monash.eduView CV

Research Description

I am a Medical Doctor from Ecuador and I have a master's degree in Infection & Immunity from the University of Sydney. At the Barr lab I am tackling one of the most important threats to global health: antimicrobial resistance. Specifically, I am looking at bacteriophage therapy as a treatment strategy against multi-drug resistant bacterial pathogens such as Acinetobacter baumannii.

Outside of the lab, I spend a lot of time at the gym, binge-watching TV series, cooking and baking.

Follow me on Twitter @NandoGordillo


Picture of Wilbur

Area of Study

Lab guard dog. Expert in eating treats, playing fetch and pats.

Follow me on Instagram here!


Picture of Siddarth Narambath

Research Description

I am currently completing a Master of Biotechnology at Monash University. I previously completed a Bachelor of Biotechnology (Hons) in 2018, with a specialisation in Biomedical technology. At the Barr Lab, my research focuses on the isolation and characterisation of novel phages against clinically relevant strains of Acinetobacter baumannii.


My passions beyond research, include a variety of sports, writing and gaming. 


Picture of Avi Perera

Research Description

I am an Honours student joining Monash after completing a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences at Deakin University. Currently, I am working on developing a Bacteriophage cocktail targeting Multidrug-resistant Enterobacter. isolates from the Alfred Hospital. We also hope to further characterise the phage genomes, bacterial strains, and their interactions.

When I'm not experimenting in the lab, I'm experimenting in the kitchen, binging a good show, doodling or hiking.

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Barr Laboratory | Monash University Feedback/Questions

Monash University
School of Biological Sciences
Senior Zoology
Clayton VIC 3168

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