Graduate Research Office Leadership Team

The Monash Graduate Research Office is responsible for the leadership, strategic oversight, and management of all graduate research matters. In partnership with faculties and central units, we support students at every stage of their higher degree research life-cycle.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Training)

Prof Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis

Professor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis

As Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Training) and Chair of the governing body for research training (Graduate Research Committee), Professor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis provides strategic leadership to support the development and implementation of Monash's research training strategy ensuring the continuous development of research skills across the University.

Professor Georgiou-Karistianis is internationally recognised for her pioneering work in Huntington's Disease and Friedreich's Ataxia, having discovered novel biomarkers for tracking disease progression which are now used in early drug development to inform clinical trial design. She has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, led large interdisciplinary clinical programs, including IMAGE-HD and IMAGE-FRDA and received significant funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council, international philanthropic bodies and industry organisations.

After joining Monash in 1997 as a Lecturer of Psychology, Professor Georgiou-Karistianis has held a number of senior roles, most recently as Deputy Dean, Academic and Graduate Affairs in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences since 2019.

Academic Director, Graduate Research

Prof Sharon Ricardo

Professor Sharon Ricardo

As Academic Director, Graduate Research, Professor Sharon Ricardo works alongside the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Training) to make decisions and provide guidance on a range of complex academic matters related to graduate research. She is also actively involved in the promotion and education of science to the broader community by engaging with secondary school students, patient groups and philanthropic societies.

Professor Sharon Ricardo completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne in 1994 pursuing post-doctoral studies at Pennsylvania State University in the Division of Nephrology (1994-2000). She is currently a Research Group Leader in the Monash Biomedical Discovery Institute at Monash University. As head of the Kidney Regeneration and Stem Cell Laboratory her lab is producing high-impact research aimed at developing new stem cell-based therapies in combination with repair and growth factors that may offer alternatives to renal replacement. Her discoveries resulting in >100 publications that have been cited >6,000 times, have led to the first induced pluripotent stem cell lines from human kidneys and translational research evidenced by seven granted international patents.

Sharon is an Editor of the Nephrology journal and previously served on the Scientific Program and Education Committee of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology.

Director, Graduate Research Office

Michelle Lopez

Ms Michelle Lopez

The Director, Monash Graduate Research Office is responsible for the leadership of all aspects of the University’s centralised graduate research administration services along with strategic oversight and leadership of University-wide graduate research matters including strategic planning and regulatory compliance, student and supervisor development and quality expectations and programs including the Monash Doctoral Program and Graduate Research Industry Partnerships (GRIPs). Michelle and her team provide administrative leadership, expert advice, oversight and insight of the higher education regulatory environment and develop and implement strategies, systems and policies that maximise the benefits of investment in graduate research and work closely with faculties to enable excellence in graduate research at Monash.

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