About Us

The mission of the FMHS Postdoctoral Society is to promote the interests of Postdoctoral researchers in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, and create opportunities for their networking, collaboration, and professional development. Further to this, we aim to provide a voice for FMHS early- and mid-career researchers and facilitate their work in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences and the wider University. We welcome collaborations with Fellows and Associations of other Universities to further our mutual goals.

Membership of the society is assumed for all  Research Fellows and Senior Research Fellows working within, or affiliated to, the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (FMHS) at the University of Auckland; however, any member of staff wishing to opt out may do so at any time. Membership of the Committee is open to all members who attend Committee meetings and show an active interest in the running of the society.

If this sounds like you, you can get in touch with us at one of our regular Events, and find our contact info using the University Directory.

Brya Matthews

Dr Brya Matthews is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology, and part of the Bone and Joint Research Group. She completed her PhD in Auckland, then spent 6 years of postdoctoral  study in the USA at the University of Connecticut, working with many colourful mice. She returned to New Zealand in 2017 on a Hercus Fellowship. She is a basic bone biologist, and her research focuses on mechanisms involved in bone healing, and adult stem/progenitor cells in bone tissue. Outside of work, Brya enjoys wind surfing and paddle boarding (badly), travelling, and chatting over a glass of wine.

Catherine Tsai

Dr Catherine Tsai is Research Fellow at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology, in the Proft Lab of the Infection and Immunity Research Group. Her main research interest is an important bacterial pathogen to humans, the Group A streptococcus (GAS). Catherine completed her PhD study in Auckland in 2016, which focused on the GAS surface structure pili. The research revealed that certain type of GAS pilus also plays a role in immune evasion outside its usual function in host cell adhesion. Catherine’s current postdoctoral research is the development of a novel vaccine strategy based on the GAS pilus. When Catherine is not in the lab, you can find her in the mountains or at the beaches, or simply chasing after her daughter in a playground.

Bobbi Laing

Joanna Chu

Erika Freemantle

Scientific Committee


Lola Mugisho
John Sluyter

Marketing Managers


Jie Zhang
Ben Dickson Website/Twitter

Grants Officers


Jie Zhang
Raewyn Poulsen

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