Dr Nina Pollak - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Nina Pollak

Dr Nina Pollak

PhD, University of Graz (KFUG) Austria,. MSc, University of Graz (KFUG) Austria,. BSc, University of Graz (KFUG) Austria, Associate Fellow HEA USC

  • CSIRO Future Science Synthetic Biology Fellow
+61 7 5456 5009
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Dr Nina Pollak


Dr Nina Pollak completed her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Graz, Austria, in 2014. Nina’s current role combines her research expertise with a strong focus on smart biosensing in both, synthetic biology and applied diagnostics. From 2017 to 2020, Nina jointly held a CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellowship at CSIRO and USC focusing on smart biosensors for bioremediation. This and her previous research have already been highlighted in popular media outlets such as Cosmos Magazine and New Scientist. Nina previously published a proof-of-concept multiplex diagnostic (ACS Omega 4(7), 11388, 2019) and a rapid diagnostic test for Ebola virus (Virol J. 15(75), 2018). Since August 2020, Nina expanded her research to applied diagnostics for Dengue and Nipah viruses, a project funded by the DMTC.

Nina is an avid mentor and her exemplary teaching efforts were previously recognized in 2017 through an award by the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland. She is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) and committed to world-class teaching in higher education. Since 2018, Nina shares an executive role in running the USC Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network, which organises events to empower emerging researchers with many development opportunities including career and research mentoring. Her contributions to synthetic biology were recently recognised by being invited to join the organising committee for the Synthetic Biology Australasia (SBA) conference 2019, which provided a forum for academic and industry researchers to present their latest research findings and describe emerging technologies and directions in synthetic biology. These collective efforts indicate that Nina is not only performing exceptional research, but working to bring scientists, industry and the community together to grow STEM capability in Australia, and inspire a next generation of scientists.


  • Best Early Career Researcher Poster Award 2019 granted by the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), QLD, Australia, at the USC Research Showcase (2019)
  • SCMB Tutor Award by the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, which was assessed on a combined score of Student Evaluation of Tutor (SET)-Test results and total points from the staff feedback questionnaire (2017)
  • “Paper of the Week” Award for the publication “The interplay of protein kinase A and perilipin 5 regulates cardiac lipolysis”, representing the top 2% of the Journal of Biological Chemistry papers in overall importance (2015)
  • Scholarship for Excellence (PhD) from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Graz, Austria (2013/14)
  • Best Poster Award 2013 granted by the Medical University of Graz, Austria, at the annual Doctoral Day, which represents an occasion for all doctoral candidates to present their current research results to the public (2013)
  • Scholarship for Excellence (MSc) from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Graz, Austria (2007/08)
  • Scholarship for Excellence (BSc) from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Graz, Austria (2005/06)

Professional memberships

  • Synthetic Biology Australasia (SBA)

Research grants

Project name Funding body

Tissue engineered multicellular structures for aquatic detoxification.

CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform

Research areas

  • Synthetic Biology
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Biosensors
  • Stem Cells
  • Diagnostic technology
  • Dengue virus
  • Nipah virus

Teaching areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Introductory Bioscience
  • Biotechnology

Dr Nina Pollak's specialist areas of knowledge include diagnostic technology, synthetic biology and biosensors.

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