Sanam Mustafa

Dr Sanam Mustafa

ARC Senior Research Associate

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


A molecular pharmacologist trained in one of the world’s most renowned research laboratories, Dr Sanam Mustafa has been named by Science and Technology Australia as an inaugural ‘Superstar of STEM’.

Dr Mustafa completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Glasgow, graduating in 2004 with a M.Sci (Honours) in Genetics. This included an Industrial work placement year at the Comparative Genomics department of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Dr Mustafa then trained in one of the world's leading laboratories researching GPCRs under the supervision of Prof Graeme Milligan and Dr Alan Wise. This PhD studentship was co-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and GSK. During her case studentship, Dr Mustafa had the invaluable opportunity to spend 3 months in the high throughput-screening department of GSK.

Following a short postdoctoral position in collaboration with Almiral, in 2009 Dr Mustafa joined A/Prof Kevin Pfleger's group at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research at the University of Western Australia. Here Dr Mustafa expanded her skill-set to encompass the study of protein-protein interactions at a more detailed level. Alongside academic research projects, Dr Mustafa conducted contract research work for Dimerix Bioscience. This included project management of a research contract outsourced by Takeda Cambridge. Other responsibilities included the teaching and examination of undergraduate students.

Now a Research Fellow at the Australian Research Council, Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), University of Adelaide, Dr Mustafa has a special interest in the study of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling and regulation and her current research focusses on the immune system of the brain and its power to change human behaviour. Working closely with physicists and chemists, Dr Mustafa is also a member of the Scientific Leadership Committee at the Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS). Dr Mustafa’s role within the CNBP and IPAS places her in a unique position to develop novel tools for sensing and investigating intracellular signalling. 

Her skill-set includes techniques such as molecular biology (PCR, RT-PCR), confocal microscopy, immunocytochemistry, Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET), chemotaxis, ERK, [32P] orthophosphate phosphorylation and ELISA assays. Dr Mustafa experienced in the use of in vitro over expression systems.

Sanam is a passionate advocate for gender equity in STEM and science communication. In addition to her academic role at CNBP, she represent my peers at the executive level in a number of roles both inside and outside the University including the University of Adelaide Faculty of Health Sciences Gender Equity and Diversity committee and CNBP Nurturing Environment committee. 

    Expand
  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2014 ARC Senior Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2014 - 2014 University Research Fellow School of Medical Sciences
    2013 - 2014 Research Associate School of Medical Sciences
    2013 - 2013 Scientific and medical writer iX Biopharma Limited
    2013 - 2013 Case Based Learning tutor University of Adelaide
    2009 - 2011 Postdoctoral Research Associate University of Western Australia
    2008 - 2009 Postdoctoral Researcher University of Glasgow
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2017 Recognition Science and Technology Australia inaugural Superstar of STEM Science and Technology Australia Australia
    2010 Award Prize for best poster
    2007 Award Prize for best poster
    2007 Award Prize for best poster
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2004 - 2008 University of Glasgow United Kingdom PhD in Molecular Pharmacology
    1999 - 2004 University of Glasgow United Kingdom M.Sci (Honours)
Monetary Awards
  • National Science Week, Big Science Adelaide 2000 AUD
  • EDTAS partnership, DVCR and Faculty of Sciences, 40,000 AUD
  • Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences awarded 3000 AUD travel grant, 2018
  • Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Gender Equity and Diversity committee awarded, 1000 AUD dependent travel award, 2018
  • CNBP awarded 2000 AUD dependent travel grant, 2018
  • Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Gender Equity and Diversity committee awarded dependent travel award 450 AUD, 2017
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research (150,000 AUD) 2017- co-investigator

Dr Mustafa has been awarded the Barbara Kidman Fellowship for funding commencing 2017.

The School of Medical Sciences awarded 13,500 AUD for the purchase of centrifuge equipment in July 2015.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics awarded 19,000 AUD in May 2015 towards the purchase of equipment for a cell culture facility.
A 500 AUD travel award was granted by the Adelaide Pharmacology Group to attend the International ASCEPT-MPGPCR meeting in Melbourne in December 2014.
8908 AUD was awarded by the School of Medical Sciences towards the purchase of automated cell counters in October 2014.
IPAS Extending Collaborations Pilot Projects 2013: In-vivo neuroinflamation and neuroimmune diagnostic in live rat central nervous system, 20,000 AUD. Hutchinson, Klaric, Mustafa, Dr François, Schartner, Purdey, Monro
IPAS Extending Collaborations Pilot Projects 2013: Nature probing nature – a living sensor for drug discovery, 2000 AUD. François, Hutchinson, Mustafa, Yool and Monro
The University of Western Australia awarded 750 AUD towards the cost of attending the ELRIG Drug Discovery Conference in Manchester in September 2011.
Recipient of the Tony B academic travel award (>3000 USD) to attend SLAS LabAutomation meeting in Palm Springs, January 2011.
A 500 AUD travel award was granted by the organizers towards the attendance of the Molecular Pharmacology GPCR meeting in Melbourne in December 2010.
Successful for two travel awards; 1000 AUD from WAIMR and a further 750 AUD from the University of Western Australia, to attend the ELRIG Drug Discovery Conference in Coventry in September 2010.
 
Awarded £100 from the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) to attend the BPS 3rd focused meeting “Cell Signalling” in Leicester in April 2009.
  • Supervision of 1 Honours student:
  • Edwina Cox, Second class Honours (2A), 2017. On time completion
  • Supervision of work placement students
  • Lucille Michelot, Overseas work placement student, October 2018-March 2019
  • Benjamin Barry, 3 weeks 2018
  • Shenyi Peng, Summer 2017-2018
  • Andreas Anargyros, 4 weeks, 2017
  • Lucy Carpenter, 2 weeks, 2017
  • Mehrnoosh Ostovar, 6 months, 2015
  • Kishan Sangani, 6 months, 2014
  • Mathew Steen, Summer 2014-2015
  • Regular teaching and assessment of undergraduate (SGDP) and Honours students.

Medicine Learning and Teaching Unit (MLTU), University of Adelaide

Case Based Learning tutor for 2nd year medical students (2013)

In-depth preparation for group workshop sessions, facilitation of discussions to encourage knowledge consolidation and clinical reasoning, and oral and written assessment of students including providing constructive feedback.

    Expand
  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Co-Supervisor Real-Time Monitoring of Neuronal Action Potentials using Voltage-Sensitive Quantum Dots Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Mengke Han
    2018 Principal Supervisor Examining the Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicines to Manage Pregestational and Gestational Diabetes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Cheow Yuen Tan
    2018 Co-Supervisor Treatment strategies for Cognitive impairment and dementia ini Parkinson's Disease Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Bianca Laura Guglietti
    2015 Co-Supervisor The Effect of Sex on the Role of TLR4 in Chronic Pain Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Samuel Greig Evans
    2015 Co-Supervisor Using Biophotonics to Examine Pain Processing Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Azim Arman
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2014 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Exploring the Bidirectional Interface between Stress and Innate Immunity: A Focus on Glucocorticoid and TLR4-MyD88 Signalling Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Jiajun Liu
    2014 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Exploring the Pharmacology of (+)-Naltrexone on Alcohol Reward and Anxiety Behaviours Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Jonathan Henry Jacobsen
    Expand
  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2018 - ongoing Advisory Board Member aKIDemic Life University of Tasmania Australia
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2018 - ongoing Chair BliSS Adelaide Steering committee BliSS Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member IPAS Scientific Leadership Team Institute of Photonics Advanced Sensing Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member CNBP Nurturing Environment Committee ARC Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics Australia
    2018 - ongoing Chair DST EDTAS symposium committee Defence Science and Technology and University of Adelaide Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member ASCEPT Adelaide conference committee ASCEPT Australia
    2018 - 2018 Representative CNBP Executive Management Committee ARC Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics Australia
    2016 - ongoing Representative CNBP Adelaide node Early Career Researcher ARC Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics Australia
    2016 - ongoing Member ECR/MCR committee member University of Adelaide
    2015 - ongoing Chair Biological challenges forum ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale and BioPhotonics
    2013 - ongoing Member Australasian Neuroscience Society (ANS)
    2010 - 2011 Member Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR
    2004 - 2007 Member Biochemical Society
    2004 - ongoing Member British Pharmacological Society (BPS)
  • Community Engagement

    Date Title Engagement Type Institution Country
    2018 - ongoing Tall Tales of Science Public Community Engagement National Science Week Australia
    2018 - 2018 High school visit Public Community Engagement Adelaide High School Australia
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2014 - ongoing Board Member Frontiers in Cellular Endocrinology
  • Position: ARC Senior Research Associate
  • Phone: 83134101
  • Email: sanam.mustafa@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4099
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Helen Mayo North, floor 6
  • Room: 6 N620b
  • Org Unit: Adelaide Medical School

Connect With Me
External Profiles

Other Links