Healthier kids, brighter futures

Our Team

Leszek.jpg Leszek Lisowski PhD, MBA, Group Leader/Lab Head
Leszek [pronounced: Leshek] was born in a small town in Western Poland.  After high school he received a prestigious Academic Excellence and Leadership Scholarship and enrolled at the University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT, USA where he earned his B.S. in Biology. He subsequently joined doctorate program at Cornell University in New York and earned his PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the laboratory of Dr. Michel Sadelain at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), for his work on lentiviral vectors for the treatment of β-thalassemia and assessment of vector toxicity and the risk of insertional oncogenesis. He then joined the laboratory of Dr. Mark A Kay at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where Leszek performed his postdoctoral training studying AAV vectors’ evolution via multispecies interbreeding and retargeting of rAAV. He was subsequently recruited by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA where he ran Gene Transfer, Targeting and Therapeutics Facility. While in La Jolla he earned his MBA degree from UC San Diego Rady School of Management and co-founded LogicBio Therapeutics, a gene therapy company. In October 2015 Leszek relocated to Australia to join CMRI to establish and run Vector and Genome Engineering Facility and to establish his independent research program, Translational Vectorology Group (TVG). In addition to being Group Leader at CMRI, Leszek is a conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University if Sydney and holds title of Honorary Faculty at UCL, London, UK.

Current Members
  Predrag Kalajdzic, PhD, Research Officer
Predrag received his PhD in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from University of Crete in Greece where he studied insecticide resistance molecular mechanisms using transposon (Minos) based tools for genome insertional mutagenesis. Following his PhD, he worked at the University of Belgrade (Serbia) before moving to Germany in 2013 for postdoctoral studies. As a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology (Ploen), he started utilizing state of the art CRISPR/Cas technique for genome editing of various mammalian cell lines. In 2015, Predrag moved to the Justus Liebig University, Giessen, where he worked on genetic modification of insects for pest control strategy (specifically focusing on Drosophila suzukii and Aedes aegypti), continuing to utilize cutting-edge genome engineering technologies. Starting March 2017, Predrag joined CMRI’s Vector and Genome Engineering Facility (VGEF).
  Grober Baltazar Torres, BS, Research Assistant
Grober, born in Lima, Peru, relocated to San Francisco, California, where he attended City College of San Francisco. Subsequently he attended UC San Diego in La Jolla, California, where he became a member of the MARC and AMGEN Scholar Program, which led to an internship at UC Berkeley. Grober also did laboratory training in the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine in La Jolla. After receiving bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology he returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and worked as a Research Assistant for Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Palo Alto. There he assisted in the evaluation of the effect of the company’s lead discovery compounds on cytokine induction in murine skin to treat skin inflammation associated with skin diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. In 2016, he relocated to Sydney and joined CMRI as a Research Assistant in the Vector and Genome Engineering Facility (VGEF), where he is directly involved in VGEF’s genome engineering projects and development of novel gene editing technologies.
  Kimberley Dilworth, BS, Research Assistant
Kimberley obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Sydney, graduating with honours in microbiology for studies of ectromelia virus induced cell motility. She joined VGEF in 2015, and is the expert in the design, production and purification of viral vectors based on adeno-associated virus and lentivirus.