Sarah Shigdar, PhD

Dr Sarah Shigdar is currently the Senior Lecturer in Medical Science at Deakin University and the current President of the International Society of Aptamers. She is also the executive editor of the Aptamers Journal. She has over 20 years’ experience as a biomedical scientist, completing her Bachelor of Biomedical Science in 1995, Masters in Medical Laboratory Science in 2004 at RMIT and her PhD in Haematology in 2009 at Deakin University. Her career has so far contributed over 60 papers to the science community.

Dr Shigdar leads the Laboratory of Aptamer Theranostics at Deakin University, leading a large research team that focuses on the development of synthetic antibodies called aptamers. Aptamers are made of sequences of RNA/DNA that fold into 3D structures that can find and target cells/proteins and bind to them to block their function or create easier access for other drugs to those cells. She has an interest in aptamers because their properties and nano size could be utilised to treat cancers more effectively as current drug methods struggle to cross through the blood brain barrier. While her major focus is on developing therapeutics that can cross the blood brain barrier to specifically target and treat brain cancers and brain metastases, she champions the use of aptamers and is collaborating on a number of projects worldwide to aid researchers to switch to aptamers for their applications and assays.