NICOLE BUCK (PETTIGREW)
Inducted in to WPSC Hall of Fame 2009 for her contribution to Medicine:
Nicole graduated in 1989, and, inspired by her science teachers, completed a Bachelor of Applied Science with first class Honours.
She went on to complete a PhD at the Department of Medical Laboratory Science at RMIT University, in Melbourne.
After completing her PhD, she earned a position as a Postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware, in the USA.
Here, she was involved designing and building molecules that would specifically block the active sites on certain enzymes that interfere with chemotherapy drugs. This can make those drugs more effective in the treatment of certain cancers.
In 2001, she moved back to Melbourne, and took up a position as a Postdoctoral fellow at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Here, she researched the role of GPI linked proteins in cell membranes, and the part they play in cell-to-cell signalling.
Since 2003, she has worked at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute based at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. Here, she has worked on several projects, including experimental research on the transplanting of bone marrow cells into liver tissue, to temporarily restore liver tissue. This promises to alleviate the waiting list for whole liver transplants. Nicole has been part of the Cell and Gene Therapy Group, investigating treatments based on cell therapy and the use of drugs for a metabolic condition called Methylmalonic aciduria.