Group Leader

A/Prof Robert Bryson-Richardson


Rob studied Human Genetics at the University of Nottingham before moving to the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh to complete his PhD and begin his work using the zebrafish model system. He completed his PhD in 2003 and continued his research at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney and the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University. He joined the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University as a lecturer and principal investigator in 2010. He is the director of the PhD program and the leader of the Genetics, Genomics, and Helath theme in the School of Biological Sciences.

Robert Bryson-Richardson
Robert Bryson-Richardson
Post-doctoral researchers

Dr Tamar Sztal


Tamar studied Biomedical Science at The University of Melbourne, completing her Honours and subsequently her PhD in Genetics in 2009, working on insect hormones. She moved to Monash University where she began researching dystrophic muscle disease in zebrafish at the Australian regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University. In 2011, Tamar joined the Bryson-Richardson lab in the School of Biological Sciences to work on modeling Actin myopathies in zebrafish.
Tamar Sztal
Tamar Sztal
Research Assistants

Emily McKaige


Emily completed a Bachelor of Science with a major in genetics at Monash University in 2015. She became interested in disease modelling and is currently looking at inherited peripheral neuropathy and working to identify drugs for the treatmnet of myopathy using zebrafish. Outside of the lab Emily enjoys dancing and patting cats.
Emily McKaige
Emily McKaige
Post-graduate students

Emily Claire Baxter


Emily studied genetics, molecular biology and psychology at Monash University as part of a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts (2009-2012). During her genetics studies she became interested in studying the genetics of muscle disease and began an honours project with the Bryson-Richardson lab in 2013 and subsequently a PhD investigating Small Heat Shock Proteins as caused and modifiers of muscle disease. When not in the lab Emily also works part-time as a pharmacy assistant, loves healthy baking, Crossfit, relaxing with a G&T and making friends with other people’s dogs.
Emily Claire Baxter
Emily Baxter

Rita Serrano


Rita is a biologist interested in the connection between developmental genetics and medicine. She studied Biology at the University of Porto in Portugal (2005-2008), and started her career as a research trainee in the field of Population Genetics at IPATIMUP (Portugal, 2009-2010). Extending her curiosity for genetics research, she moved to Lisbon to complete the Masters of Molecular Genetics and Biomedicine at the New University of Lisbon (2011-2014), with collaboration of the Institute of Molecular Medicine (Portugal). Her project focused on the mechanism of tissue regeneration in the zebrafish, something that might have great therapeutical potential, allowing her to appreciate the zebrafish as a model for clinical research. Rita joined the Bryson-Richardson lab in 2015 as a PhD student. She is currently characterizing new genes that have been associated with neuromuscular disease, aiming to understand the underlying biology and discover targetable pathways for potential therapies.
Outside of Science, Rita spends her time reading, learning new languages, doing yoga and (because she loves chocolate) enjoying a treat.
Rita Serrano
Rita Serrano

Callum Dark


Callum studied a Bachelor of Science (Advanced, Honours) at Monash University from 2012-2015. He double majored in Genetics and Psychology, and has a great interest in how genetics influences human disease. His honours project involved functionally characterising a gene variant associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to determine its role in the development of the disorder. He started his PhD in 2016 under the supervision of Dr Rob Bryson-Richardson in collaboration with Dr Ziarih Hawi (Bellgrove lab, Psychology, Monash), and is continuing to examine how ADHD-associated genes contribute to ADHD and function in brain development, using the zebrafish as an animal model.
Callum Dark
Callum Dark
Honours Students

Caitlin Lucas



Former Members

Dr Adam Parslow

Adam worked as a post-doctoral research in the team for 6 months and is now a Malcolm Ashbolt Postdoctoral Fellow in the Tumour Targeting Laboratory at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute

Dr Avnika Ruparelia

Avnika completed her PhD and postdoctoral studies in the lab and is now a research Fellow at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute

Caitlin Williams

Completed her Honurs year and worked as a research assistant in the lab. She is now in the preimplantation genetics diagnosis lab (PGD) at Melbourne IVF

Hakan Tarakci

Completed his Honours year in the lab and is now undertaking a PhD at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute

Jacob Martin



Jonathan Pojer

Completed his Honours year in the lab and is now undertaking a PhD at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Dr Mo Zhao

Mo completed her PhD in the lab and now works as a post-doctoral researcher at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada

Noorserra Armat



Dr Raquel Vaz

Raquel completed her PhD in the lab and now works as a post-doctoral researcher at the Karolinska Institute, Sweeden