Staff Profile - Dr Michelle Gahan
Assistant Professor, Forensic Biology
University of Canberra
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the Australian National University in 1999, Michelle moved to Melbourne, working as a research assistant in infectious diseases at the Alfred Hospital and the Burnet Institute. She completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Science at Latrobe University in 2002 and a PhD in Oral Vaccine Delivery from Monash University in 2006.
Michelle was awarded an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship to work on a plant-made avian influenza vaccine at the University of Melbourne. In 2008 Michelle returned to Canberra, taking up a postdoctoral position on respiratory viruses at the University of Canberra.
In 2009, with the help of a University of Canberra Strategic Initiative Funds Grant, Michelle began establishing a biosecurity research program and developing undergraduate and graduate biosecurity units, combining her experience in microbiology, molecular biology and forensic science. Michelle is currently an assistant professor in forensic biology and a member of the National Centre for Forensic Studies.
Michelle's research in biosecurity centres around exploring unique and innovative ways to increase speed, sensitivity and portability of biological agent identification and distinguish between hoax and real attacks. This research is carried out in collaboration with the Australian Federal Police. Michelle also has research interests in other areas of forensic microbiology and biology, including identification of microorganisms in drugs and food, and the use of next generation sequencing in forensic applications.