Minh Phan has joined School of Optometry and Vision Science (SOVS) as a Posdoctoral Research Fellow since November 2019. She undertook her PhD in Food Science and Technology at UNSW School of Chemical Engineering under the prestigious Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship. During her PhD, she used a human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line (Caco-2 cells) to evaluate changes in cellular biological effects and cellular uptake of phytochemicals as a result of food co-digestion. She tested antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of different phytochemical combinations for synergistic effects using both chemical and cellular models, and successfully developed LC-MS/MS methods for the measurement of different bioactive compounds extracted from plant-based materials and cell culture. She had published 6 articles during her PhD candidature in high impact peer-reviewed journals.
Minh will apply her expertise in human cell culture and analytical chemistry for delivering studies to investigate the effects of sex hormones including oestrogens and androgens on the tear film and ocular surface using human meibomian gland epithelial cell (HMGEC) line. She is working with other senior SOVS researchers to establish cell culture conditions for differentiation of HMGEC, and to develop LC-MS/MS methods for quantification of sex steroids and lipids produced by HMGEC cells.