Freya Bruveris

Recipient of scholarship

Freya completed her Bachelor of Arts/Science degree at the Clayton campus of Monash University in 2011 with majors in Developmental Biology and Psychology. For the final two and a half years of her undergraduate studies she worked as a Research Assistant within the Human Embryonic Stem Cell and Differentiation Laboratory at Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories [MISCL] under the supervision of Professor Andrew Elefanty and Elizabeth Ng. During this time she gained experience in the culture of human embryonic stem cells, flow cytometry and other various molecular biology techniques.

She remained at MISCL and in 2012 she undertook her Honours year under the same supervision and completed her thesis on “Characterisation of haematopoietic populations emerging from human embryonic stem cells”. In 2013 she started her PhD at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute [MCRI] in the Blood Cell Development and Disease Group staying with Professor Andrew Elefanty, Elizabeth Ng and Ed Stanley.

The primary research focus of the laboratory pertains to directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells to mesendodermal precursor cells and then to blood and haemogenic endothelial cells. To enable in the optimisation of protocols that allow for the production of these cells types she generated genetically modified human embryonic stem cells lines in which reporter genes are inserted via homologous recombination into gene loci of interest. Specifically involving the study of two transcription factors, SOX17 and RUNX1C, which are known to play critical roles in embryonic blood development.

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