Barr Lab

Current Lab Members


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.

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

In the Barr lab, I am further developing the bacteriophage-adherence-to-mucus (BAM) model by investigating the co-evolution of phages within their dynamic mucosal gut environment. This environment will be simulated using fabricated microfluidic devices that are capable of peristalsis, lined with gut epithelial cells containing a co-infection of bacterial cells and phages. My project mainly includes concepts and techniques from microbiology, cell biology, evolutionary biology and engineering.

Beyond the lab, I like to spend my time playing music, learning languages, exercising and trying out coffees from every cafés within reach. 

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 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 will be tackling one of the most important threats in the scenario of global health: antimicrobial resistance. Specifically, I will look into bacteriophage adjuvant therapy as a treatment strategy against multi-drug resistant bacterial pathogens.
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 Vanessa Calcinotto

Research Description

I am currently an honours student at Monash University. I have completed a double major in Genetics and Ecology and Conservation. At the Barr lab I will be examining the tripartite symbiosis of phage, bacteria and human cells. Using the CRISPR-Cas9 system I will attempt to manipulate and investigate the relationship between lambda phage and epithelial cells from the human gut.

Outside of the Barr lab I highly enjoy my sport, specifically basketball, listening to music and shopping for shoes. 

Picture of Will Richards

Research Description

I am a fourth year student studying commerce and science, with majors in accounting and genetics. At the Barr Lab I will be investigating the changes in the number of infectious phage as they cross epithelial cell tissue.

Outside of the lab, I am a sports fanatic, in particular I am an eager follower of Australian Rules football and currently play in a social netball team.

© 2019-01-16, All Rights Reserved.
Barr Laboratory | Monash University Feedback/Questions

Monash University
School of Biological Sciences
Senior Zoology
Clayton VIC 3168

Contact Info