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Romana is a Senior Research Scientist whose career began in the areas of Immunology and tissue growth and repair. She held a Coordinator role within the Therapeutic Products team at TGR Biosciences Pty Ltd to commercially develop a class of proteins to promote connective tissue, specifically for the use in burn care and bone regeneration for fracture healing. This project was showcased in the NH&MRC publication “10 of the Best Research Projects 2008”. After working in the private biotechnology sector for a number of years, she moved to academia to focus her interests in mesenchymal stem cell and fracture repair research within Professor Stan Gronthos’ Mesenchymal Stem Cell laboratory (The University of Adelaide/SAHMRI). Her project involved investigating the role of EphB/EphrinB molecules in fracture repair.

The focus of Romana’s research will involve the localised treatment of breast cancer with cytotoxic gamma delta T cells. Localised adoptive transfer of ex vivo expanded gamma delta T cells encapsulated within a thermoresponsive hydrogel, will be used to mediate in vivo anti-tumour activity. The outcomes of this research may have an impact for patients in the clinic in maximising the success of surgical interventions to eliminate residual cancer cells and prevent reoccurrence of breast cancer and metastasis.

Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours), Flinders University, South Australia

Professional Associations

2006-2008: AusBiotech Member 

2008: Invited Panel Speaker at AusBiotech Student Association SA Welcome Event, Adelaide

Positions held

2012 – 2015: University of Adelaide Research Associate (HEO6)

2009 – 2012: SA Pathology/IMVS Research Associate (HEO6)

2007 – 2009: TGR BioSciences Pty. Ltd. Project Coordinator

2005 – 2007: TGR BioSciences Pty. Ltd. Senior Research Assistant

Romana has engaged with young students in the science community about Research and Development in the Biotechonology sector of South Australia as an invited Panel Speaker at the AusBiotech Student Association SA Welcome Event, held in Adelaide in 2008.