Jennifer Zenker

Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute/Monash University

Monash University

Jennifer Zenker

Dr. Zenker is the head of the Zenker lab at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI, Monash University) and an emerging leader in the field of cellular architecture of pluripotent stem cells in the living preimplantation embryo and iPSCs by applying cutting-edge quantitative imaging approaches.

She obtained her PhD (2012) in Neurobiology at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), identifying novel cellular mechanisms underlying diabetic peripheral neuropathy including ion channel mis-localisation and mitochondrial defects, using various mouse models (first author papers in J. of Neuroscience (2012), Glia (2014) and a review in Trends in Neurosciences (2013)). During her Postdoctoral studies at IMCB/A*STAR (Singapore), she specialised on live imaging of the early mouse embryo which led to a number of seminal discoveries, including 3 first author papers in Science (2017), Cell (2018) and Nature Protocols (2017) plus 2 reviews in Dev. Cell (2018) and Curr. Opin. in Cell Biol (2017). She was awarded three international postdoctoral fellowships, from the prestigious Human Frontier Science Fellowship (HFSP), the German and Swiss National Science Foundation (DFG and SNF).

In November 2018 she embarked on a career as an independent group leader at ARMI. In 2019, she was awarded the highly competitive Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Azrieli Scholarship as a real mark of her distinction and scientific excellence. This was followed by an NHMRC Ideas Grant in 2020 and a NHMRC EL2 Investigator Grant in 2021. Since its establishment, the Zenker Lab has published in top journals, including Nature (2021) describing the discovery of iBlastoids, Trends in Cell Biology (2021) and Development (2021).