Research group

Dr. Lizhong He – Group Leader
Senior Lecturer

Dr. Lizhong He completed his Bachelor of Science in Applied Chemistry and Master of Engineering in Biochemical Engineering at Tianjin University, China. He finished his PhD at GKSS Research Centre, Germany working on self-assembly and affinity adsorption of glycoconjugates (glycolipids and glycoproteins).  He then spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz where he studied functional tethered lipid membranes. Prior to joining Monash University in December 2011, Dr. He was an AINSE Research Fellow and Deputy Director at Center for Biomolecular Engineering, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland. Dr. He's research interests include engineering bio-interface for drug delivery and biocatalysis, peptides-based biomaterials, application of neutron and x-ray scattering for studying biomolecules.

Mr. Dominic Agyei

Post-graduate student

I am an early career researcher who holds a Bachelor’s degree (Honours) in Food Science and Technology, from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. I am currently in the advanced stages of my PhD studies at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University. My  research interests include enzyme engineering, bioactive peptide production and functionalities, nanocatalysis, food protein science, food safety and food security. My current research work is focused on the development and optimization of enzyme-based bioprocess for protein degradation and peptide production. The project aims at exploiting the proteolytic activities of cell-envelope proteinases (CEPs) from Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. lactis 313. Some key aspects include optimization of culture conditions and bioprocessing of CEPs, immobilisation by covalent enzyme attachment on various supports such as nanoparticles and synthetic polymers fibres and by forming cross-linking enzyme aggregates (CLEA). This work is anticipated to provide an integrated bioprocess, involving expression and immobilization of CEPs that will yield stable biocatalysts that are cheap, simple and scalable, giving them the potential for various industrial applications in protein degradation.

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Ms. Bhuvana Kamath Kasargod

Post-graduate student

Bhuvana graduated from Anna University, India with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Biotechnology. She later pursued her Masters in Industrial Biotechnology at SASTRA University, India. She then went on to work as senior scientist at Biocon Research Ltd, Bangalore India for 5 years. During this tenure  she focused on the development of downstream process and chromatographic processes for purification of Human Insulin and analogues. The industrial experience and her desire for research triggered her to enroll for a PhD at Monash University in the Chemical Engineering department in 2013 to perform research  that would be of industrial relevance and application. Her research interests include biocatalysis, peptide self-assembly, enzyme engineering and environmental biotechnology. Her current research works involves the development of a peptide based scaffold for the immobilization of industrial enzymes. This project is aimed to provide a platform technology for the large-scale immobilization and recovery of enzymes.

Mr. Huazhen Li

Post-graduate student

Mr Huazhen Li graduated from South China University of Technology with a Bachelor of Engineering in Bioengineering and Master of Engineering in Fermentation Engineering. Before joining Monash University as a PhD student, Huazhen was a visiting scholar in Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge. Huazhen completed his Masters project in ‘Fermentation optimisation of Rhizo-mucor miehei lipase displayed on the cell surface of yeast Pichia pastoris’ in 2011. His current PhD project is focused on developing advanced foaming using stimulus-responsive peptides.

Mr. Jingxiong Lu

Post-graduate student

Jingxiong graduated from East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST), Shanghai, China with a Bachelor degree in Polymer, followed by a Master degree in Biomedical Materials. He worked on bone regeneration based on calcium phosphate cement (CPC) for his Master thesis. In June 2012 he joint  BEL lab as a PhD student. His current research is focused on siRNA/miRNA delivery by a designed peptide functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticles, in the absence of chemical reaction and cytotoxicity.

Mr. Zhengyang Zhao

Post-graduate student

I graduated with a Bachelor degree of Biotechnology with research focus on marine plankton from Ocean University of China. Then, I went to UQ and finished my Master degree in Molecular Biology, with transcripts ranked as top 2% in Faculty. Following my Masters, I worked as an Occupational trainee at  Monash  for a year, before I got the New Horizon Scholarship and started my PhD from April, 2013.

My PhD research interest is enzyme immobilization for biocatalyst applied in industrial and diagnostic field. Enzymes are environmental friendly, highly efficient and specific in reactions and can be widely employed in various industrial manufacturing processes such as drug production, biofuel, clinical  diagnostic, etc. However, there are a few challenges to its successful application like high cost and low stability in adverse conditions. My passion is to overcome these challenges by developing new immobilization techniques to improve the biocatalyst for various applications.