Dr Jane Mullaney moves back to NZ to pursue career at AgResearch

Monday 1st May 2017

After ex-Riddet Institute scholar Dr Jane Mullaney graduated from Massey she took up a post-doctoral position with the University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute (UQDI), which is partnered with the Translational Research Institute, combining several research institutes dedicated to discovery and development of treatments and therapies to improve health for people worldwide. UQDI conduct research on autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Dr Mullaney wrote the following about her career experiences and move back to New Zealand in March 2017 for a role at AgResearch:

“My work on gut microbiota for my PhD through the Riddet Institute was a real fit with what they were looking for, which was to study the link between genes, microbes and the autoimmune disease type I diabetes. UQDI has world-class bioinformatics, proteomics and high throughput gene sequencing facilities."

"I left New Zealand to further my career. You really need to get experience internationally as our country is so small. The opportunities in research are limited and there is a significant income gap between Australia and New Zealand. However, I always wanted to come home to put my skills to work here."

“My new role, while moving away from specific diseases, is still microbiome based and focused more towards investigating food-based approaches for improving gut health. Not only this, but I plan to expand on some science ideas I had while I was at UQ which involved developing high-value food-based products by Maori in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Auckland.”

“The Riddet Institute helped me broaden my research and link it with science going on out there. It has people from different disciplines working together and I think this what we need more of. I was probably the only person working in the immunology group at UQ who had a PhD in food technology. Nearly everyone else had biomedical backgrounds. Health does not have clear boundaries and we need overlapping of disciplines. The Riddet Institute sits in the space that covers health, food and technology and its collaborative networks offer tremendous scope for improving our knowledge in this space.”