Melinda Thomas

PhD student

Liggins Institute, University of Auckland

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  • Metabolomics
  • Biomarker discovery
  • Molecular Biology
  • Statistics



  • 2011 - Master of Science, Major in Biotechnology- University of Madras, India
  • 2009 - Bachelor of Science, Major in Biotechnology- University of Kerala, India



Metabolomic biomarkers in the prediction of spontaneous pre-term birth

Spontaneous Preterm Birth (PTB) is a major public health issue and remains the leading cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity. The exact cause of PTB is not fully known but there are many clinical and biochemical risk factors associated with PTB and it is likely that markers for this condition are present in maternal specimens long before the onset of preterm labour. Metabolomics incorporates cutting-edge technologies and provides an unbiased hypothesis generating approach for the identification of potential candidate metabolic biomarkers.

My PhD project is a collaboration of Liggins and School of Biological Sciences (University of Auckland) and is supervised by Prof Phil Baker, Dr Karolina Sulek (Liggins Institute, University of Auckland), Dr Silas Villas-Boas (School of Biological Sciences), and Prof Louise Kenny (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Ireland).

We will develop an algorithm based on metabolomics biomarkers identified from pregnancies associated with PTB, with the aim of developing a high-throughput diagnostic tool which could be translated into the clinical setting. Clinical prediction of PTB pregnancy outcome has the potential to significantly impact on the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of PTB.



From The Lab To Industry...


SF7489 Biological Fungicide

Starting life as a food colouring candidate, this novel metabolite from a unique strain of Epiccocum purpurascens has excellent efficacy against a broad range of phytopathogenic filamentous fungi, and potential pharmaceutical uses. More >>>

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