Dr. Ulrike Schumann
What is your current research interest?
My current research focusses on the development of serum-derive RNA biomarkers for retinal degenerative diseases. I further work in collaboration with the University of Sydney to build electrochemical biosensors that allows detection of these RNA molecules directly in serum. My other research interests are focussed on understanding the role of non-coding RNAs and RNA modifications during retinal degeneration.
What is your favourite experiment?
I haven’t done it yet but working on the 3D reconstruction of sequential 2D spatial expression slices is a major goal I hope to achieve this year.
What are your favourite hobbies outside of the lab?
As a triathlete I love being out on my bike or going for a swim or run. But I also love gardening and sometimes succumb to a crafting and baking burst.
What is your favourite cuisine?
I don’t have one, as long as it tastes good I will probably eat it.
My expertise is in RNA biology with skills in small RNAs, RNA modification and sequencing technologies. I currently hold a NSW RNA Future Leader EMCR grant in collaboration with the Safe Sight Institute at the University of Sydney in which I will develop serum-derived RNA biomarkers for retinal degenerative disease and focus on serum-based biochemical detection methods. In my current role at the Clear Vision lab. I have established the state-of-the-art Spatial Gene Expression technology to understand the spatially distinct gene expression changes in the mouse retina in response to degeneration.
I studied biotechnology in Jena, Germany and then moved to Aberdeen, Scotland to complete my Master’s degree studying the gating properties of mechanosensitive ion channels. I continued my PhD studies in Aberdeen to understand the role of these mechanosensitive ion channels in the late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans. This research kindled my interest in host-pathogen interactions, which prompted me to accept a Post-doctoral position at CSIRO in Canberra, Australia. I undertook research to characterise the RNA silencing machinery in the plant-pathogenic fungus Fusarium oxysporum, working with small interfering RNAs and micro RNAs. I expanded my work to investigate the role of epigenetics in the defence response of Arabidopsis thaliana. To deepen my knowledge of epitranscriptomic processes, I joined the RNA biology group at the ANU (JSCMR) and investigated the role of 5-methylcytosine in mRNA translation.
I am passionate about fundamental research, and I believe that a thorough understanding of the cellular processes underlying disease development will give an advantage to specifically exploit these for therapeutic solutions. I have always been keen for my research to contribute to the development of novel technologies.