Morgan (Ting-Li) Han

Research Assistant

Metabolomics applied to industrial and medical microbiology, University of Auckland

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RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • Metabolomics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Candida albicans morphogenesis
  • System biology

 

BACKGROUND

  • 2013 - Research assistant, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
  • 2012 - GC-MS technician, CGPM, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
  • 2012 - Doctoral of Philosophy, Biological Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
  • 2006 - Biomedical science with honours (First class), Major in Neuroscience, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

 

I’ve always loved science and I enjoy participating in a wide range of research projects. Although I graduated as biomedical science student majoring in Neurology in 2005 and studied the pharmacology of drugs preventing the formation of cataract during my honour’s project in 2006, I spent approximately 9 months on identification of novel gene defects in common variable immune deficiency (CVID) patients in Auckland hospital. I finally decided to step into an emerging post-genomic approach, metabolomics, for my PhD project. My doctoral project aimed to unravel the metabolic pathways associated with Candida albicans morphogenesis (Figure 1). The summary of some of my findings are illustrated in Figure 2.

 

The yeast-to-hyphae transition of C. albicans after 4 hours.

Figure 1. The yeast-to-hyphae transition of C. albicans after 4 hours.

 

Metabolic network illustrating how the seventeen morphogenesis-related metabolic pathways are interconnected.

Figure 2. Metabolic network illustrating how the seventeen morphogenesis-related metabolic pathways are interconnected.

 

CURRENT PROJECT

I am presently employed as a research assistant for the University of Auckland I have been working on several projects including: 1) phenotyping 50 different Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains through metabolomics (over 300 shake-flask cultures and 1500 biological samples) (Figure 3) that will be used to construct a detail predictive model for the genetic engineering of yeast cells; 2) Developed a new analytical method to determine human hair composition to be used in the discovery of new biomarker for progeny disorders.

PCA analysis of 50 different S. cerevisiae grown under glucose or ethanol as the only carbon source.

Figure 3. PCA analysis of 50 different S. cerevisiae grown under glucose or ethanol as the only carbon source.

 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • Han TL, Cannon RD & Villas-Bôas SG (2013) The metabolic response of Candida albicans to phenylethyl alcohol under hyphae-inducing conditions.  PLOS ONE 8 (8): –e71364.
  • Han TL, Cannon RD & Villas-Bôas SG (2012) The metabolic response of Candida albicans to farnesol under hyphae-inducing conditions. FEMS Yeast Research 12 (8): 879-889
  • Han TL, Cannon RD & Villas-Bôas SG (2012) Metabolome analysis during the morphological transition of Candida albicans. Metabolomics 8 (6): 1204-1217
  • Han TL, Cannon RD & Villas-Bôas SG (2011) The metabolic basis of Candida albicans morphogenesis and quorum sensing. Fungal Genetics and Biology 48: 747–763. (This paper was nominated as the top 5 most downloaded articles for the journal of Fungal Genetics and Biology in 2013)

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