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Scientific Team

A/Prof. Mathias Francois

Scientific Advisor (External)

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Prof. Francois is an internationally-recognized expert in the biology of transcription factor SOX18 and its role in lymphatic and blood vascular growth in disease. He was awarded the ASMR Queensland Premier’s award, a UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award and National Career Development Award for his work with SOX18. He has authored numerous seminal papers on SOX18 biology and drug targeting.

Dr. Johannes Zuegg

Medicinal Chemist (External)

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Dr Johannes Zuegg is an organic and medicinal chemist with 20 years research experience, including 8 years commercial development. He has worked on developing and applying computational methods in different aspects of molecular/structural biology and medicinal chemistry. Dr. Zuegg expertise is drug discovery, hit-to-lead development, optimization of leads as drug candidates, ligand- and structure-based drug design, design of structurally diverse library, design for drug target validation and drug development (including in vivo and ADME/T studies).

Dr. Kevin Ngoei

Team Leader – Drug Development


Kevin is the Gertrude Biomedical Scientific Team Leader, who has more than 10 years’ drug discovery experience. Before joining Gertrude Biomedical, Kevin worked at St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, developing anti-diabetic therapeutics targeting a metabolic kinase which resulted in being awarded several prizes and fellowships. Kevin has a proven academic track record in drug design and development, and previously collaborated with academia and various pharmaceutical industries. As a protein chemist, he has been involved in developing Gertrude Biomedical’s drug screening pipeline and novel biochemical/biophysical assays in high throughput format. He has a strong passion to translate his scientific knowledge to help improving human health.

Dr. Nicole Lau

Research Scientist


Dr. Nicole Lau is an early-career Research Scientist in the areas of cell biology, host-pathogen interactions and molecular biology and completed her PhD training at the world-class Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne. She furthered her clinical industry experience in a NATA-accredited, Phase 1 bioanalysis unit during the COVID pandemic. Dr. Lau is fully PC3-certified and formed an integral part of the COVID microneutralization team as well as the biomarker analysis team. At Gertrude Biomedical Dr. Lau forms part of the R&D team to develop cell biology screening platforms for the drug discovery pipeline.

Dr. Abel Anshabo

Research Scientist


Dr. Abel Anshabo is a Research Scientist at Gertrude Biomedical with 7 years’ experience in preclinical drug discovery and development. He completed his PhD in Pharmacology at the University of South Australia (Adelaide) in 2021, focusing on the discovery and development of kinase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer. Prior to pursuing an industry career, Abel worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, investigating the oral delivery of lymph-directed therapies. Abel has ample experience in cell biology, drug formulation and delivery, pharmacokinetics, and in vivo models of cancer. At Gertrude Biomedical, he will be involved in identifying relevant disease models for lead candidates emerging out of the drug discovery pipeline.

Belinda Duscio 

Senior Research Assistant


Belinda Duscio is a Senior Research Assistant who has 25 years of experience working in various Medical Research Institutes around Melbourne, such as WEHI, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Olivia Newton John Cancer Research Centre.  She possesses a broad range of molecular biology skills in cancer research and experience with in vivo models of cancer.  Her recent involvement in drug discovery identifying small molecule inhibitors revealed a new passion in the Biotech industry.

Prudence Khoury

Research Assistant


Prudence Khoury is a research assistant who has recently graduated with first-class honours in Medical Laboratory.  She completed multiple internships working in hospital laboratories in Lebanon, before enrolling in 2021 to undergo an Honours year at the University of Melbourne in Immunology.  Prudence’s project investigated the characterisation of a novel population of T cells “MR1T cells”.  She has developed her skill set in cell biology, microbiology, functional immunology, and biochemistry. Working at Gertrude has revealed a newfound passion in translational research.

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