Laura’s PhD with NanoMB at CBNS – a review
Announcement | February 21, 2018

During the first Melbourne nodes meeting for 2018 on 9 February, Mrs Laura Selby gave a presentation on her experience as a PhD student at CBNS.

Laura works in the Nanomaterials for Biology Group led by Dr Angus Johnston. The team focuses on developing a fundamental understanding of how nanoengineered materials interact with biological systems. The goal of their work is to improve the way drugs and vaccines are delivered to cells.

Laura has two main research interests: One interest lies in sensors for intracellular trafficking of nanomaterials. Her research aims to understand how nanomaterials interact with cells and where exactly the material is located inside the cell.

Her second research interest is flow cytometry data analysis. This cell analysis technique is used to examine nanoparticle/cell interactions. During her research, she described an algorithm that uses an iterative deconvolution process to identify the cells that interacted with nanoparticles within a sample. This allowed the team to detect small changes that would have otherwise be missed.


During her PhD within the CBNS, she participated in various training sessions including the Adobe Illustrator Workshop in 2016. The skills she gained during this workshop helped her to win the Science by Design competition, she said.

Laura also embraced the opportunity to participate in a number of conferences including ICONN 2018. At this international conference, she gave a presentation at the Centre of Excellence Showcase on her research at the CBNS titled Engineering Sensors to probe the intracellular trafficking of nanomaterials.


As for the future, Laura plans to work for one year in the Nanomaterials for Biology Group to finish some of the research that she didn’t have time to complete during her PhD. After that, she hopes to learn more about genetic engineering for environmental applications.